Honoring the Helpers

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”   ― Fred Rogers

It's truly been a year of scary things, but it has also been a year filled with helpers. This December, AFP Greater Madison is celebrating the helpers in our community.

Would you like to celebrate a helper to your organization? Share their story here!

Thank you to the New Glarus Brewing Company on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison!

Need a reason to celebrate? Then raise a glass to one of RMHC-Madison’s incredible corporate partners – New Glarus Brewing Company.

During this pandemic, our team has been humbled by the generosity of friends who have gone above and beyond to help our families. They keep our spirits and mission strong, understanding many cannot right now.

Earlier this spring, with months of uncertainty ahead, New Glarus Brewing Company came forward boldly and without fanfare to ask how they could help. Moving many of our families to the InnTowner Best Western meant we could accommodate more guests safely but was an unexpected and very real expense. Additionally, the loss of volunteer meal groups meant soaring costs during a precarious financial landscape.

New Glarus Brewing Company committed to monthly emergency relief through 2020, allowing our team to make decisions that safely supported more families during their time of need. Though New Glarus Brewing Company is now known around the globe, it is clear their hometown roots remain strong. We cannot wait for their Tap Room to reopen so we can finally thank Daniel and Deb Carey in person. Prost!

Ella Family from Ronald McDonald House

Thank you to Terry Hankes-Smith on behalf of MOM (Middleton Outreach Ministry)!

Terry is an exceptional, dedicated, compassionate donor and volunteer for MOM (Middleton Outreach Ministry). For years, she and her husband Bob have contributed generously to support MOM’s programs and services, and participated in and supported MOM events and activities.

In addition, Terry has been on the front-lines, rain or shine, as a hands-on volunteer in MOM’s Food Pantry drive-up delivery system during the Covid pandemic. Terry helps our neighbors select and receive nutritious food and personal care items they so desperately need to care for themselves and their families.

And, finally, Terry is also a lead volunteer in MOM’s Winter Wishes program. In past years, the program allowed donors to purchase, wrap and give gifts to families in need of a little help to celebrate the holidays. Covid precautions necessitated that the program change to instead provide gift cards and wrapping paper to registered families. Terry took a lead role in helping 327 households, more than 1,000 individuals, participate and receive their Winter Wishes. MOM is fortunate and very grateful for Terry’s gifts of time, talent and resources which she so generously shares with us.

Thank you to the National Charity League, Madison Area Chapter on behalf of MOM (Middleton Outreach Ministry)!

The Madison Area Chapter of National Charity League (NCL), is made up of mothers and daughters in grades 6 through 12 who volunteer together at Madison area nonprofits. We’ve been fortunate to have NCL as an active volunteer partner for 10+ years. Mother-daughter pairs have had biweekly volunteer shifts in our clothing center and food pantry. They’ve helped in countless other ways, including at seasonal programs such as Back to School where client children receive a backpack filled with school supplies. They’ve covered MOM booths at promotional events at MOM community partners (see photo), volunteered at annual special events, and conducted numerous food drives and clothing drives, tapping into their vast community networks to keep our pantry shelves and clothing racks full.

We are grateful for the many ways NCL members have contributed to improve our community over the years. Even in 2020 during the pandemic, their members stepped up to volunteer in larger numbers as we pivoted to distribute food in a safer, curbside-like way to our clients. NCL members didn’t hesitate to substitute for some of our ‘regular’ weekly volunteers, many of whom are retired, and helped us get food out quickly to those most in need. NCL has been a huge help to our operations during the pandemic as we distribute boxed food to 200+ families each week. Even at our separate Thanksgiving Basket distribution last month where nearly 300 households received boxed food for their holiday meal, several dozen NCL members delivered the food to clients who otherwise couldn’t get to our food pantry safely. We couldn’t have done this without NCL. We are constantly in awe of the generosity of NCL members and their dedication to MOM and making a difference in their community.

National Charity League, Madison Area Chapter

AFP Greater Madison would like to continue celebrating the helpers in our community in our newsletter and on our website and social media.

Submit a helper you'd like to celebrate!

Please share a few sentences or paragraph along with a photo of the helpers who have stepped up for you and your organizations in 2020. It could be an extraordinary volunteer serving extra hours, a new donor giving for new needs, or a staff member whose creative thinking carried the day. Share their story and help us celebrate their dedication!