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Friday, February 9, 2018

Help Wood County Prepare for Disaster By Learning How To Staff a Volunteer Reception Center-Wisconsin Rapids



For Immediate Release – February 7, 2018
Contact: Angela Loucks Volunteer Center Director, 715-421-0390

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI – In partnership with Wood County Emergency Management, United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center will be conducting a Disaster Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) Training on March 6 and 8, from 5:30pm to 7:30pm both nights.  The event will be held at the Rudolph Town Hall, 6432 2nd Ave., Rudolph.  Dinner will be provided. 

In the event of a disaster, any spontaneous volunteers who arrive at a disaster scene will be directed to the VRC, where they will fill out an application, be interviewed and screened, matched with a disaster volunteer opportunity, trained and fitted with a wristband before being sent back out to the disaster scene.  The VRC is staffed by another group of volunteers.  We are currently recruiting volunteers to join our VRC team. 

Day one of our VRC training will consist of lecture, where we will be discussing what happens during a disaster, what we do at the VRC and why it is important.  Day two will be a hands-on exercise.  At the conclusion of the training, each participant will be asked to join the VRC team and attend future trainings as well as be available in the event of real disaster.

To register for the training or for more information, please contact Angie Loucks, Volunteer Center Director at 715-421-0390 or angie@uwiw.org.  The deadline to register is March 1, 2018.  Space is limited to 30 participants.


About United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center

The Volunteer Center is a clearing house for requests for volunteers and volunteer opportunities.  An online database of volunteer opportunities is available at www.volunteerinnerwisc.org.  Volunteer opportunities are announced every Wednesday morning on WFHR; and can be viewed on Wisconsin Rapids Community Media.  The Volunteer Center works on several initiatives such as Day of Caring, Stuff the School Bus, Homeless Point in Time (PIT) Count, and the Disaster Volunteer Reception Center. 

The Volunteer Center is a program of United Way of Inner Wisconsin.  Its mission is to mobilize and inspire people to utilize their talents to enhance our community.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Support group being held at Mile Bluff to help those affected by autism - Juneau County



            Autism is defined as ‘a complex, developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life, and impacts a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.’  It is considered a spectrum disorder, meaning that it affects individuals in different ways and to varying degrees.  With the prevalence of autism in the United States, healthcare organizations are stepping up to offer support to families of children living with the disorder.
            On Tuesday, November 14, Reverend Jeff Fairchild will lead a support group designed to assist families of children who live with autism.  The meeting will take place at Mile Bluff Medical Center in Mauston, beginning at 7 pm.  During the meeting there will be opportunities for participants to network with others who are dealing with situations similar to theirs, and discussion time to learn from others about recognizing and preparing for challenges that may arise.
             Attend the upcoming autism support group at Mile Bluff Medical Center on Tuesday, November 14 at 7 pm, and learn what you can do to help that special child in your life.   For more information, call 608-847-1285.

National Family Volunteer Day is November 18 - Wisconsin Rapids



WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WI – On Saturday, November 18, 2017 the Volunteer Center will be asking families in south Wood County to get out and volunteer together as a family!  According to the Points of Light Foundation “Family Volunteer Day is a day of service that celebrates the power of families who work together to support their communities and neighborhoods.”

In south Wood County, families can view our website at www.volunteerinnerwisc.org to find ideas.  We have a variety of different volunteer opportunities to choose from that are perfect for families.  Opportunities range from stay-at-home projects such as creating “Shoebox Projects” and donating them to local agencies; to getting out and decorating an agency for the holidays.  Families can also check out the volunteer opportunities at their churches or schools.

Families who wish to volunteer on – or around – November 18th should plan ahead, as many agencies have a volunteer application process.  The Volunteer Center is not coordinating any projects, but can make suggestions and help your family decide on a project. Families need to volunteer together (adults cannot drop off their kids and leave); especially since smaller children will need to be supervised.

“Volunteer projects do not need to be on November 18th,” said Angela Loucks, Volunteer Center Director.  “We just want to help families get started on the path to volunteering. National Family Volunteer Day is a good time to check out the local opportunities we have and learn about the benefits of volunteering.”

“This is also an opportunity to show your kids the world around them,” continued Angela.  “Show your kids all the good that there is in the world!  It helps kids know that we live in a community that cares about others - including them – which has a huge impact on their own self-esteem.  It’s also an opportunity to pass down family values such as showing compassion and always doing your best.  You can put these values into action by volunteering and show your kids first-hand what it looks like.  It’s also an opportunity to spend quality time with your family and have fun - so grab your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc. and volunteer together!”


Benefits of Volunteering
·       Youth who volunteer learn respect, leadership skills and how to work as a team.  Youth volunteers also tend to do better in school, are more likely to graduate, make better choices, choose healthier lifestyles and have higher self-esteems. 
·       Volunteering can help job-seekers get a job by providing references and experiences that can be listed on resumes and job applications.  (Volunteering also helps students who are applying for college.)
·       Volunteering benefits your health in a number of ways:  it lowers the body’s response to stress and strengthens your immune system.  Volunteers also experience less depression, lower blood pressure and fewer health problems later in life.


About United Way of Inner Wisconsin’s Volunteer Center

The Volunteer Center is a clearing house for requests for volunteers and volunteer opportunities.  An online database of volunteer opportunities is available at www.volunteerinnerwisc.org.  Volunteer opportunities are announced every Wednesday morning on WFHR; and can be viewed on Wisconsin Rapids Community Media.  The Volunteer Center works on several initiatives such as Day of Caring, Stuff the School Bus, Homeless Point in Time (PIT) Count, and the Disaster Volunteer Reception Center. 

The Volunteer Center is a program of United Way of Inner Wisconsin.  Its mission is to mobilize and inspire people to utilize their talents to enhance our community.

Community Thanksgiving Dinner - Marshfield


Friday, October 20, 2017

United Way of Inner Wisconsin Thank You and Recognition Celebration - South Wood County



Event:  Thank You and Recognition Celebration
Date:  January 10, 2018
Time:  4:00 – 6:00pm
Location:  The Eatery at Great Expectations
Address:  3551 Plover Rd., Wisconsin Rapids
Description:  Anyone who has supported United Way of Inner Wisconsin during its 2017 Campaign – by donating, volunteering, etc. – is welcome and encouraged to attend our Thank You and Recognition Celebration.  The event is free thanks to our sponsors.  There will be appetizers and a cash bar, with a program at 5:00pm.  During the event, United Way will show its appreciation to the many organizations, individuals and volunteers who helped make the 2017 campaign a success. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

United Way Seeks Raking Volunteers and Individuals Who Need Yards Raked - Wisconsin Rapids

The Wisconsin Rapids Riverkings were among the groups who volunteered at the 2016 Day of Caring.
Save the date!  Our annual raking event, Day of Caring is scheduled for November 4, 2017 so mark your calendars!   All volunteers receive a free t-shirt and a hot breakfast.  Volunteers and team leaders can register online at www.uwiw.org.  Event starts at 8:00am at the Grand Rapids Lion’s Club.  All youth volunteers MUST have a signed waiver from a parent or guardian.

We are also currently accepting registration from local elderly/disabled individuals who wish to have their yards raked by volunteers during Day of Caring. 

To register to have your yard raked, call 715-421-0390 and speak to a 2-1-1 information specialist between the hours of 8am-5pm, Monday through Friday.  This program is designed for low- or fixed-income elderly and/or disabled residents who have no other means of completing the raking service (ie: no family nearby, unable to pay a landscaping company, etc.). 

When calling to register, residents should be prepared to provide directions (or the nearest cross street) to their home; and be able to describe their yard size:
•       Small – 3 or less trees
•       Medium – 4-6 trees
•       Large – 7-10 trees
•       Jumbo – more than 10 trees

The deadline to register is October 20, 2017.  Residents who participate will be expected to provide their own leaf bags (if applicable) and instructions for the volunteers.  Instructions should include information about leaf disposal, depending on the municipality they live in.  Volunteers will only be raking leaves.  Participants are also expected to clean up any pet waste and trash from their yard before volunteers arrive.