With the help of hundreds of volunteers, The Gathering of Southeast WI, Inc. serves 10 free meals each week to those who might otherwise go hungry. In 2011, the breakfast program—the only service of its kind in the area—gave away more than 50,000 meals from three inner-city locations. The sites also serve dinner twice a week, as well as lunch on Saturday. All food is prepared fresh daily. All told, The Gathering provides meals to approximately 100,000 people experiencing homelessness or hunger each year.
Make A Difference – Wisconsin trains students to become financially literate to help ensure that they make sound decisions as adults. The organization recruits volunteers from the business community and teaches them how to interact with the students during educational sessions held throughout the school year. Volunteers teach the students a variety of money-management skills during seminars on budgeting and saving, understanding checking accounts, and understanding credits cards, reports, and history. Make A Difference has delivered its program to 26,000 students in the last six years. The results it has collected from the last three years include reports from graduates who have been inspired to open savings accounts and who share tips from the program with friends and family members.
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The medical professionals at PPWI aim to prevent or quickly detect signs of cervical cancer by emphasizing regular screenings. Simple Pap tests search for problems, and the health centers can also perform colposcopies to further investigate and remove potentially problematic cells. By removing precancerous cells from the cervix, medical professionals can often prevent harm before the cancer develops. PPWI does not turn away any patient seeking treatment, but the organization relies on outside donations to fund services for women who do not have insurance.
Starting as freshmen, Sponsor-A-Scholar students get connected with personal mentors, financial sponsors, and a supportive peer group to provide encouragement and guidance to help them finish high school and attend college. More than 98% of students in the Sponsor-A-Scholar program graduate from high school, with 95% of graduates going on to enroll in postsecondary education. Students who complete the program and enroll in college receive $5,000 of additional financial support, distributed throughout the course of their college careers. The Sponsor-A-Scholar program launches with a foundational three-week summer-enrichment experience, when students begin bonding with their peers and the staff who will be a part of their support network throughout high school.
On Saturday, September 22, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett will gather local businesses, community leaders, and citizens between the two bridge houses of the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge. There, he will ceremonially raise its steel structure and announce a mission to revitalize the street. Following the ceremony, more than 20 motorboats and sailboats will surge down the river and under the bridge, each decked out in Milwaukee-themed decorations and bright colors. Near the bridge, Historical Society members will stage a reenactment of the Milwaukee Bridge War of 1845 and initiate a game of tug of war across the street; on the bridge, meanwhile, trainers from Gold’s Gym will lead lightly sweating groups through yoga poses.
Visitors drink and dine to the sounds of live music and multicultural dance performances as well as the sights of a one-act play on two stages on the Riverwalk. They can browse local vendors at a craft market, explore permanent sculpture installations, and stroke their chins while gazing at art pieces in paint, photography, blown glass, and other media from more than 50 local artists at booths along both sides of the river. As the crowd mills about throughout the event, artists from the Plein Aire Painters’ Association make art live, painting the beautiful city skyline and buzzing groups of people. A complimentary water taxi runs between both Riverwalks throughout the day’s festivities.