Success Stories

We know how important it is to you to know where your donation is going, which is why we have created the Success Stories page. If you have any suggestions for this page, please email Kate Smith.

Agency Spotlight

St. Croix Valley Sexual Assault Response Team

New Richmond Area Centre

FamilyMeans

Interfaith Caregivers of Polk County

Pierce County Public Health

Osceola School District Backpack Program

Amery Regional Medical Center

Youth Service Bureau

New Richmond Area Centre

School District of Amery Angel Fund

Clear Lake Area Community Center

Grace Place

Interfaith Caregivers of Polk County

Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley

Endeavors Adult Development Center

Assistance & Resource Center

Northwoods Homeless Shelters

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin

Our Neighbors' Place

Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties

Hudson School District Angel Fund

St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity

St. Croix Valley Sexual Assault Response Team

St. Croix Valley Sexual Assault Response Team

The St. Croix Valley Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) employees and board of directors would like to proudly acknowledge the United Way St. Croix Valley for the financial support of SART’s mission in the St. Croix, Pierce and Polk Counties. In June 2016, SART was honored as the recipient of a $20,000 grant. This extreme generosity from many of you as donors to the United Way will assist SART in its mission. SART offers diverse programming including advocacy, educational outreach and the sexual assault nurse examination (SANE) program. SART seeks to proactively numerous community members will experience the positive impact of this gift, and it is received and acknowledged with heartfelt appreciation.

For more information call 715-425-6443 or visit www.stcroixvalleysart.org.

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New Richmond Area Centre

New Richmond Area CentreThe annual tradition for area seniors took place on December 9 at the Centre with entertainment from the Diane Martinson Holiday Jazz Duo. The duo entertained the crowd who enjoyed some holiday fellowship while enjoying some holiday home made treats.

The event is supported by the United Way St. Croix Valley and has been since the inception of the event.

United Way St. Croix Valley supports more than 60 nonprofit agencies and programs in St. Croix, Pierce and Polk Counties each year through its community giving campaign. United Way’s Community Care agenda is built around three priority areas--Meeting Basic and Emergency Needs, Strengthening Children and Families and Promoting Health and Independence.

To learn more about the Centre’s senior programs contact the Centre at 715-246-2252. To support the United Way St. Croix Valley to ensure programs like this continue visit their website at www.unitedwaystcroix.org.

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FamilyMeans

FamilyMeansStillwater-based FamilyMeans received funding again this year from the United Way St. Croix Valley, which specifically supports the agency’s Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) and Caregiver Support and Aging Services programs.

“The program support received through this United Way St. Croix Valley grant allows us to support thousands of people who are in a place in their lives where they’re seeking help,” said Jennifer Snyder, director of development and communications for FamilyMeans. “We’re grateful to be able to provide assistance when people need it most.”

FamilyMeans served more than 18,000 people in 2015. Of the two programs funded by United Way St. Croix Valley, 1,750 people received respite care, coaching and counseling, support group involvement or education through Caregiver Support and Aging Services, which also began offering free memory screens to anyone interested who may be concerned about having memory issues.

Another 11,400 people sought CCCS services in the areas of counseling sessions, debt management, financial education workshops and community outreach. Earlier in 2016, CCCS added student loan counseling to its list of services, which is an area of concern as education costs increase nationwide.

FamilyMeans serves clients throughout the Twin Cities and beyond with office locations in Stillwater, St. Paul, Golden Valley and Rochester, Minn., and in Hudson and Eau Claire, Wis.

To learn more about FamilyMeans or any of its programs, contact Jennifer Kovacich at (612) 801-0498 or email jkovacich@familymeans.org or go to www.familymeans.org.

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Interfaith Caregivers of Polk County

Interfaith Caregivers of Polk County

92 year old Edna lives in Frederic, WI. She has macular degeneration, so needed a ride to Stillwater, MN to see the eye specialist. Our volunteer was glad to drive the round trip of 153 miles, so Edna could get the help she needed.

“United Way and their generous donors continue to bless us by financially supporting our work. Together we make a positive impact on residents of Polk County, like Edna, who want to remain living independently at home,” says Karen Krupa, Program Director of Interfaith Caregivers of Polk County.

Interfaith Caregivers has received the first of six installments from a grant provided by United Way St Croix Valley. Interfaith Caregivers shares United Way’s vision that “Communities are healthy when seniors and persons with disabling conditions remain independent.”

Because of the financial support provided by the United Way, Interfaith Caregivers is able to offer services at no charge to seniors, disabled adults and their caregivers. In 2015, Interfaith coordinated volunteers to help 508 clients with 6,955 services. This included many rides, visits, household chores, caregiver support and many other services. Volunteers donated 95,275 miles and 7,531 hours helping!

During 2015, we filled 4,965 rides with our volunteers donating their time and miles. Our drivers donated a total of 37,870 miles driving for just medical appointments! Another 28,478 miles was driven for groceries, shopping banking, pharmacy, voting, nursing home visits and more.

Besides many, many rides, some of the other services Interfaith Caregivers provided:

  • We arranged 657 friendly visits at client’s homes and 276 phone calls.
  • Our volunteers did light housekeeping 184 times and minor repairs 15 times.
  • Food boxes were delivered 348 times.
  • We arranged 159 respite care visits so family caregivers could get a break.
  • Our volunteers shopped for clients 98 times and did 30 errands.
  • We delivered library books 32 times and medications 18 times.
  • Light housekeeping was provided 184 times.
  • Youth and families donated 645 hours to do 61 yards projects in spring and fall.

A volunteer hour in Wisconsin is valued at $22.48 per hour. Interfaith Caregivers’ volunteers provided 7,531 hours in 2015, worth $169,297.

Currently, 18.6% of Polk County citizens are age 65 and above. Over the next 20 years that number is projected to rise to 27%.

"Soon one in four people in our county will be over the age of 65, including me,” jokes Karen Krupa. “I want Interfaith Caregivers to continue to thrive, so help is available for me when the time comes.”

Krupa continues, “Grants, like those from United Way St Croix Valley, help our program recruit, train, match and support our volunteers who are so essential to helping Polk County adults age in place at home.”

If you are interested in learning more about Interfaith Caregivers call 715-825-9500, email info@interfaithpolk.org and visit www.interfaithpolk.org.

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Pierce County Public Health

Pierce County Public HealthThe Pierce County Public Health Department has recently been notified that it will receive a grant award from United Way St. Croix Valley. This marks the eleventh year these grant dollars have been received for use toward the Families First (FF) program. As in the past, this money will help support and sustain the FF program which is a continuation of the Prenatal Care Coordination (PNCC) program. Public Health Nurses schedule up to four supportive parenting visits with families previously enrolled in PNCC, beginning within two weeks of birth and continuing until the baby is six to nine months old. The baby is assessed for growth and development, the mother’s recovery from childbirth is reviewed, reading-level-appropriate education material is provided, and concerns are addressed at each visit. Additionally, referrals to community resources are made as appropriate. Each visit is meant to support the parent in their new role, teach positive parent-baby interactions, provide resources and information (e.g., growth, development, feeding, immunizations, safety, etc.) for the parent, and address any parental concerns.

For more information on Pierce County Public Health services visit www.co.pierce.wi.us and select Public Health Department or call 715-273-6755.

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Osceola School District Backpack Program

Osceola School DistrictThe Osceola School District has been awarded a $120 grant from United Way St. Croix Valley for its Backpack Program. Children PreK-8th grade who are on free or reduced lunch are eligible to participate in the program. They receive a backpack of food, usually 7-8 items, plus a milk coupon each week. The backpack also includes vouchers for ground meat once in a while and about every three weeks they receive a $10 voucher for fresh or frozen vegetables. Last year the Backpack Program served 40 students each week.

“The Backpack Program is an outstanding program for eligible families. Providing well-balanced meals, in addition to our excellent food service program, helps students come to school ready to learn,” stated Mark Luebker, District Administrator of the Osceola School District.

For more information regarding the Backpack Program contact Susan Mayer, Food Service Director at 715-294-4140.

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Amery Regional Medical Center

Amery Regional Medical Center

The United Way St. Croix Valley granted the Amery Hospital & Clinic Volunteer Partners $500 to support the Behavioral Health Center in Amery. The grant will be used to help the center’s inpatient program through educational and therapeutic activities.

With the help of United Way St. Croix Valley, the Behavioral Health Center music therapy program was expanded with the addition of MP3 players, headphones and music for their inpatients. The addition of various music genres is a natural supplement to the Behavioral Health Center’s existing treatment services.

Heather Erickson, Program Director of the Behavioral Health Center, stated, “The benefits of music for elderly patients and especially those with dementia are enormous.” Erickson added, “My hopes are to add a more frequent inclusion of music tailored to the individual with the use of headphones.”

The state of Wisconsin also supports the benefits of music therapy as it has implemented the Wisconsin Music and Memory Program. The program trains and certifies nursing home staff on using music as a therapeutic tool for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Erickson continued, “This therapeutic approach will bring our patients and visiting family members some joy, peace, and happy memories during their stay here. I truly believe this will heighten the quality of patient care we provide.”

While the inpatient program provides unique and specialized programming for individuals who struggle with Dementia, it also provides services to individuals who struggle with other mental health crisis due to disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and many other mental health issues.

For the Volunteer Partner’s to continue their philanthropic efforts, support from individuals and organizations like the United Way St. Croix Valley is instrumental. Without such assistance, funding for the high school scholarship program, educational materials, and areas of patient care would cease to exist.

To learn more about the Volunteer Partners or the Behavioral Health Center, visit amerymedicalcenter.org.

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Youth Service Bureau

Youth Service BureauYouth Service Bureau and United Way St. Croix Valley are happy to help youth and families get the support they need to be more successful at home, in school and throughout the community.

Support from United Way St. Croix Valley helps YSB connect within the community where they offer programs that help youth take responsibility for their actions and develop skills to handle challenging situations in new and better ways.

“At YSB, our programs are designed to help youth who are just beginning to struggle with challenges in their lives,” said Mary E. Planten-Krell, YSB’s executive director. “We help youth and families get the support they need and connect them to other community resources as needed.”

YSB is the primary provider of diversion services in Western Wisconsin and the only provider in the St. Croix Valley that provides mental health services exclusively to youth. Programs include youth-focused family counseling, diversion services, chemical health support and parent education.

To learn more, visit www.ysb.net or call 651-439-8800.

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New Richmond Area Centre

New Richmond Area Centre

This summer, participants in the Centre’s Youth Character Initiative (YCI) spent time each week volunteering in the community as a way to give back to those who have given to them. One of their favorite community activities was volunteering at the Five Loaves Food Shelf (pictured above), where they unloaded food and stocked shelves.

The program is led by Larissa Ruud and this summer 88 youth participated in at least one week of YCI.

To learn more contact the Centre at 715-246-2252.

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School District of Amery Angel Fund

The School District of Amery is a recipient of a United Way grant from United Way St. Croix Valley.

School District of AmeryIn the award letter, Executive Director John Coughlin stated that he was pleased with the funding plan developed for school-based programs such as Amery’s. “Our goal was to open the door for new program applicants and to encourage greater employee participation by investing 50% of the undesignated contributions back into programs that benefit the District’s students,” said Coughlin.

According to Amery District Administrator Stephen Schiell, the Amery School District will receive $911 from the United Way’s grant program. The funds will be added to the District’s Angel Fund, which assists students with personal needs such as eye glasses, dental care and winter clothing.

To learn more, visit www.amerysd.k12.wi.us or call 715-268-9771.

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Clear Lake Area Community Center

United Way St. Croix Valley recently announced that the Clear Lake Area Community Center, Inc. will continue to receive support of a $1,600 grant from July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015. This grant is from funds raised during the 2013-2014 campaign. The grant will be distributed to the Clear Lake Community Center, as a nonprofit organization, in six equal checks throughout the coming year. Several programs are supported through this United Way grant, which include: recycling clothing, household items, furniture and all home products to the community at large. In addition the Center sponsors Scout Troop #130, United Way Emergency Funds Assistance and provides space for The Lifeline Food Pantry programs. Douglas and Virginia Cahow Center's Board of Directors wrote the detailed information grant and submitted it to United Way St. Croix Valley this past winter. The Center's Officers and the Board of Directors express a heart-felt thanks of appreciation to the Board of Directors of United Way St. Croix Valley for selecting the Center's grant application and the multiple of individuals who support this worthy endeavor.

For more information call 715-263-2233.

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Grace Place

Shana and her family

A couple years ago, we packed up and headed west so my husband could take a job. It didn’t pan out as promised so we decided to come home. Then, everything snowballed. Our car broke down on the way back here. We arrived with no money and no place to stay. The staff at Grace Place welcomed our family. They gave us food and a place to stay, got our kids caught up with school, helped my husband find a job and found us a permanent place to stay. Really, what they gave us was hope and the confidence that we had what it takes to turn things around. Today we have a nice place in Osceola and everything is going great.

- Shana

For more information call 715-247-2944.

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Interfaith Caregivers of Polk County

Pat

In the last five years Interfaith Caregivers of Polk County has really expanded and grown. You call there and they’re willing to help you any way they can. Even on a half an hour notice they’ve helped me find a driver when I’ve needed one in a hurry when the clinic calls. They’re very courteous and they call you back. I think Polk County is blessed to have them, I really do.

- Pat

For more information visit www.interfaithpolk.org or call 715-485-9500.

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Family Resource Center St. Croix Valley

Carrie and her children

All three of my kids were involved in the Family Resource Center Play and Learn groups. It was great for me as a stay-at-home mom to be with other parents, but it was also a wonderful program for my kids. It provided them with structure and activities that were getting them ready for school and some of the things that might go on there. And it provided them other opportunities for literacy with the story time. At the Play and Learn groups they were meeting other people and reading to them. It was great they were interacting with books with people other than just me. So it was a great opportunity for our whole family. I’m pleased that we got the chance to work with Family Resource Center and wish that more people could get involved with them.

- Carrie

For more information visit www.frcscv.org or call 715-684-4440.

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Endeavors Adult Development Center

Endeavors Adult Development Center

Day Friends Memory Care is pleased to announce that it is the recent recipient of a generous $5,000.00 Grant from United Way St Croix Valley. The Grant Funds will be designated as a Scholarship Fund that will be used to enable participants to attend the Day Friends Memory Care Program. It will also provide assistance with respite care for family caregivers who are caring for individuals with memory loss. This year is will also provide funding for participants to enjoy active participation at the Endeavors Greenhouse and Garden Center in Milltown. Participants will be able to enjoy the atmosphere of the Greenhouse, as well as the opportunity to work with plants and vegetables.

Day Friends is affiliated with Endeavors Adult Development Center, located on the west end of Balsam Lake. Kristine Munson is the Program Coordinator of the Day Friends Program and Paula Meyer is her Assistant. The Day Friends Program’s hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, 8 AM to 3:30 PM. We offer the opportunity of a free lunch for anyone who would like to come for a visit, meet Kris and Paula as well as obtain more information about the Day Friends Memory Care Program. We welcome any and all inquiries. Kris can be reached at 715-485-8762 or coordinators@endeavorsadc.org. Further information can also be obtained by visiting our awesome website, www.endeavorsadc.org.

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Assistance & Resource Center

Assistance & Resource Center and John Coughlin

United Way St. Croix Valley awarded ARC (Assistance & Resource Center, Inc.) of River Falls $2,700. ARC provides short-term financial assistance to members of the community to help meet their basic needs and provide access to additional resources. United Way St. Croix Valley has supported ARC for many years.

Representatives from ARC stopped by the United Way office to pick up a grant check and say thank you. Pictured from left: John Holck (ARC), John Coughlin (UWSCV) and Cheryl Dintemann (ARC).

For more information visit www.arcriverfalls.org or call 715-338-0755.

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Northwoods Homeless Shelters

Northwoods Homeless Shelters

Northwoods Homeless Shelters, Inc. announced that the United Way St. Croix Valley awarded a grant of $3,000 to its homeless shelter program in Polk County. This award will be used to support case management and client assistance (food and transportation).

"We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with United Way St. Croix Valley to address the issue of homelessness in Polk County and we are grateful for their support," said Virginia Ormsby, the Administrative Director of Northwoods.

The mission of the Northwoods Homeless Shelters is to provide emergency shelter to homeless families and individuals in our county and the surrounding area, provide support and case management while our residents are addressing the issues that caused the homeless situation, and assist them in the process of identifying and moving into affordable, permanent housing.

Northwoods Homeless Shelters has been serving homeless families and individuals in Polk County since 1998. From 1998-2012, this nonprofit agency has provided 31,647 shelter nights to 872 men, women and children.

For more information visit www.northwoodsshelters.org or call 715-268-5730.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin

Big Brothers Big Sisters 2012 Dream Maker certificate presentation

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern WisconsinBig Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin Director Michel Tigan presented United Way St. Croix Valley Executive Director John Coughlin with a 2012 Dream Maker certificate for its support of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin. Also pictured are United Way's Cindy Jahnke, far left, and BBBS' John Knutson, far right. The focus at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin is on creating long and sustaining relationships that will have the greatest impact on the children they serve.

For more information visit www.bbbsnw.org or call 715-835-0161.

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Our Neighbors' Place

Our Neighbors' Place United Way check presentation

Executive Director of United Way St. Croix Valley John Coughlin presented, from left, Director of Our Neighbors’ Place (ONP) of River Falls Katie Morsch and Board President for Our Neighbors’ Place Mary Jo Sutton with a $1,950 check. The ONP mission is to provide shelter and support services to families and individuals of Pierce and St. Croix Counties and to help people in need move toward independence and self-sufficiency. ONP is able to provide such assistance due to the generosity of individuals, businesses, schools, churches, civic organizations, grants and local service agencies like United Way St. Croix Valley.

For more information visit www.ourneighborsplace.org or call 715-426-9000.

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Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties

Free Clinic of Pierce and St. Croix Counties

The River Falls-based Free Clinic's mission is to provide free health care and medications to area residents that qualify. The criteria for being served includes a certain income level, lack of medical insurance or other health care alternatives, and seeking care that is within the scope of services provided. Patients receive high-quality, respectful and professional care from the moment they enter the clinic. The number of patient visits through Dec. 31, 2011 is 10,695 and in the year 2011 the Free Clinic dispensed $639,794 of free medications (at a retail value).

For more information visit www.freeclinicpiercestcroix.org or call 715-307-3948.

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Hudson School District Angel Fund

Hudson School DistrictThe Hudson School District provides an Angel Fund in each of the district's eight schools. Angel Funds are used by the school principals, in cooperation with staff, to provide students in need with emergency clothing, school supplies and/or to cover expenses associated with school activities. The $3,000 donation the schools received this year is based on a percentage of the total United Way St. Croix Valley contribution made by Hudson School District employees during the 2011-12 fundraising campaign. In 2011, the Hudson School District was recognized as a United Way Corporate Leader for increasing the number of employee participants and donations.

To learn more, visit www.hudson.k12.wi.us or call 715-377-3700.

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St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity

St. Croix Valley Habitat for Humanity is one of 1600 affiliates of Habitat for Humanity, International, and is committed to eliminating poverty in Pierce and St. Croix Counties, WI. Since its inception in 1996, SCVHFH has built nearly 50 homes, and helped ensure that nearly 200 adults and children have found the comfort, security and equity that accompanies homeownership.

Not a hand out, but a hand up, SCVHFH seeks to empower its homebuyers, reducing the barriers that have left them out of the housing market by requiring "Sweat Equity" volunteer hours in lieu of a down payment, and ensuring low monthly mortgage payments through generous building materials donations and the utilization of volunteer labor.

To learn more, visit www.scvhabitat.org or call 715-425-5623.

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