All Blog Entries by Samantha Haas

Found 103 blog entries published by Samantha Haas.

Traditionally, GivingTuesday is held the Tuesday after Thanksgiving as a dedicated day of giving for nonprofits across the globe. And while that will still happen later in the year on December 1, 2020, #GivingTuesdayNow has been organized for May 5, 2020 as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. 

There are several local organizations that could use extra support in the Madison area, and we hope you consider donating when and how you can. Among them is Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, which is asking you to “make a difference from a distance” by giving $5 on 5/5. 

Typically in spring, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is busy building and rehabilitating houses alongside volunteers and partner families. However,

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At the time of writing this article, the sun is peeking through rain clouds on April 22, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It’s been about a month since Gov. Tony Evers issued a Safer at Home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic, so celebrating this conservation milestone without a public gathering feels strange yet necessary given the circumstances. 

However, we can still connect with nature on our own or with those who live in our homes while following the latest social distancing guidelines.

Public Health Madison & Dane County recommends:

  • Walking, hiking, or biking while being safe;
  • Maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from anyone you may encounter while you’re out;
  • bringing along a cloth face covering;
  • And finding
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As we navigate the changes in our own lives brought on by the coronavirus outbreak, many people also feel compelled to help the greater Madison community. But how? 

While still maintaining social distancing and following precautionary measures regarding COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and the Public Health Madison & Dane County, there are several ways to get involved.

If you have the means to give, please consider making a donation to a local cause you support. There are nearly 3,000 nonprofits to choose from in Dane County, and several directly provide food, housing, and transportation options for our community’s most vulnerable. 

The United of Way of Dane County, in partnership

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The mission of Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is to provide programs and resources that engage neighbors to support and empower one another. It is best known for its “free store,” which graciously accepts certain clothing items, accessories, shoes, games, books, media, and other household goods and cleaning supplies. 

COVID-19 Updates 

  • (3/25/2020): Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is working with Waunakee EMS to coordinate a supply drive for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). If you or your company have any masks, face shields, paper gowns, or cloth gowns that could be donated for use by our healthcare providers and first responders, email at wncteam@waunakeenc.com or leave a message at (608) 849-5740. Please share your name, address, phone
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COVID-19 Updates

While the Lussier Community Education Center’s normal operations are suspended until at least May 1, 2020, its mission is still to be a place for people from different walks of life to come together, share gifts, and build community. That typically includes enrichment activities for all ages, games, art, tutoring, hot meals, a food pantry, farmers market, job clinic, radio shows, activism opportunities, and more. During these times, LCEC is practicing social distancing and social solidarity by continuing its food pantry program in a modified way. 

  • (3/31/2020): LCEC added bins and in-kind gift forms outside the Center for those who want to donate “wish list” items. 
  • (3/27/2020): LCEC received a COVID-19 relief grant to
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What started as a visit to Dane County’s newest gem, Morton Forest near Mazomanie, turned into a “bucket list” of parks for one Madison couple. 

(Michael and Jeanne Mraz stopped at Ferry Bluff State Natural Area after their Dane County Parks adventure, and they continue to explore the beautiful parts of our county and state.)

Jeanne and Michael Mraz have always enjoyed outdoor activities, especially mountain biking at CamRock County Park in Cambridge, hiking at Indian Lake County Park near Cross Plains, and cross-country skiing.

But the lack of snow in recent years meant they had to get creative finding fun, healthy things to do together in the winter. 

So when they saw a newspaper article about Morton Forest, they decided to explore its

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The mission of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County is to help more people get into homes so they can have a more stable family life and help stabilize the community. Through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses for people in need throughout Dane County. Habitat ReStores, which sell used and new donations of furniture, doors, wood, cabinets, electrical, appliances, building supplies, lights, and fans, have kept over 7,870 tons of building materials out of landfills, and their proceeds have helped build nearly a quarter of Habitat homes in Dane County.

COVID-19 Updates

  • (4/2/2020): Habitat defers homeowner mortgages amid Safer at Home initiative. Read more here.
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The mission of Czar’s Promise, a volunteer-run nonprofit, is to provide funding for companion animal cancer research at the UW School of Veterinary Medicine and pediatric cancer research at American Family Children’s Hospital, as well as to provide emotional, educational, and financial support for families whose companion animals have been diagnosed with cancer.

COVID-19 Updates

  • (3/16/2020): Czar’s Promise made the decision to reschedule its spring Inspiring Hope Dog Walk fundraising event to the fall, so please consider marking your calendars for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, October 3, 2020, at Winnequah Park, Monona. In the meantime, donations can be made here.
  • (3/10/2020): Czar’s Promise is in need of items used for Woof Packs, customized
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The mission of NAMI Dane County is to provide education, support, and advocacy for people affected by mental illness in Dane County with a vision of ensuring a stigma-free community where all people affected by mental illness find the help, hope, and support they need.

COVID-19 Updates

  • (4/2/2020): A free 24/7 helpline sponsored by Safe Communities MDC is available for Dane County residents thinking about using alcohol and/or other substances or struggling with substance use issues during the coronavirus epidemic. Call (608) 228-1278
  • (4/2/2020): How to protect your mental health during the coronavirus outbreak. Learn more here. 
  • (3/23/2020): If you need crisis support, text NAMI to 741741. Find more resources for people affected by mental
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The mission of the Foundation for Dane County Parks is to strengthen the endowment fund, grow and support the volunteer program, and fund projects that ensure our Dane County parks, trails, and open spaces are cared for, not only today but for generations to come. 

COVID-19 Updates

  • (4/3/2020): Explore Stewart Lake County Park virtually through a Foundation grant-funded Watershed Explorers Series hosted by the USRWA at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 4th.
  • (3/21/2020): Tag @DaneCountyParks or use #danecountyparks to show creative ways for how you are protecting yourselves out in the parks. Here is an example.
  • (3/19/2020): Getting outside is good for mental and physical well being, but please practice the following park safety tips from Public Health
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