March Hero of the Month: Milwaukee Rescue Mission
We are honored to present the Milwaukee Rescue Mission as our Hero of the Month for their commitment to providing love, compassion, education and nourishment of body, mind and spirit to Milwaukee’s neediest citizens.
Since 1893, the Milwaukee Rescue Mission has served homeless and hurting men, women and children in Milwaukee by providing meals, shelter, transformative programs and spiritual development and enrichment. Each year, they provide almost 300,000 meals, 95,000 nights of shelter and 44,000 items of clothing to those in need—thanks to friends like you!
Here is their Mission Statement: "In response to God's grace through Christ, we compassionately serve men, women and children who are homeless, hungry or poor to help them become whole in body, mind and spirit for the glory of God. "...whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me." Matthew 25:40
Safe Harbor (For Men)
The men’s programs at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission gives their guests the strength and support to transform their lives. Educational and vocational counseling, addiction recovery programs, biblical instruction, and life-skills training give them another chance at a future brimming with potential.
Joy House (for women & children)
The women and children who come here for emergency or long-term support rely on the safety, love and warmth of Joy House and its many services. They are nourished and nurtured through training, education and spiritual guidance so they can make better lives for themselves — and for their kids.
Equip (helping families)
Equip strengthens families through education and resources to help them become stable physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Child Enrichment Center (daycare for kids)
The Milwaukee Rescue Mission's Child Enrichment Center offers safe, nurturing and age-appropriate childcare for children ages four weeks through four years old.
Cross Trainers Academy (for at-risk kids)
The best, most proven way out of poverty is a good education. They provide that to at-risk children through Cross Trainers Academy, where students are groomed for success and leadership through academics and life lessons about morals and character through Christian teaching.
To learn more about how you may help the Milwaukee Rescue Mission, click on their website, www.milmission.org, watch a video below on the left or contribute to their March Match Campaign on the right.
January Hero of the Month: GE Healthcare
We are pleased to recognize GE Healthcare as our Hero of the Month for their outstanding volunteer work in the community during 2016. One only has to lead the introduction to their Community Impact Report to understand GE Healthcare's commitment to our community.
"GE Healthcare has been part of the greater Milwaukee community for nearly 70 years. Our 6,000 local employees work every day to develop innovative solutions to improve healthcare. We build things that matter to help solve some of the most complex challenges and we help build communities.
The culture of our business and the character of our people compel us to make a difference where we live and work. Corporate citizenship at GE Healthcare is about giving back and enabling positive changes by focusing on education, healthcare, innovation and community building.
This report highlights just a few of the recent community investments made by our company and employees who contribute more than 30,000 volunteer hours every year to area organizations and schools."
Walking for Healthy Babies
Cleaning up our Rivers, Parks and Camps
Honoring the Fallen
STEM-tastic GE Girls
Reading Buddies Net Results
GE Community Service Day
Inspiring Healthy Habits
Teaming Up for the Fight
Supporting Safe Neighborhoods
Tools for School
December Hero of the Month: St. Marcus School
You don’t have to look hard to catch a glimpse of the desperation that exists in the central city of Milwaukee. The city lays claim to the nation’s largest African-American achievement gap. Families are divided and ravaged by the prevalence of black male incarceration. Infant mortality and child poverty rates darken an already bleak landscape.
St. Marcus School refuses to move out. Having served Milwaukee’s children for over 140 years, their ministry is a catalyst for positive change. Founded in 1875, St. Marcus has remained an anchor in an ever-changing neighborhood, serving families through the tumultuous years of the Civil Rights Movement and into the present, staying the course of racial integration and commitment to quality education.
When St. Marcus joined the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program in 1997, it began to grow beyond its capacity. The school’s driven leadership team propelled a vision forward to create one of the best Christian urban schools in America by combining the power of the Gospel with a rigorous, no excuses philosophy of education.
Over the past decade, St. Marcus has more than doubled its campus size and enrollment, due to continuous waiting lists and parents demanding a high-quality education for their children.
Currently, St. Marcus serves 900 students in K3-8th grades between two campuses (Main and North) located a mere four blocks apart. 96% of students are enrolled in the Choice program.
St. Marcus is committed to every child’s success and well-being. Students perform among the very highest levels in the City of Milwaukee. 90% of students graduate high school in four years (compared to their peers at 55%) and St. Marcus believes students can and will earn the right to post-secondary education.
Childhood should be a time of growth, learning, imagination and joy. To the extent that we allow our children to remain vulnerable, all of us are endangered. Yet, when armed with a different vision of how to address the challenges faced, we can construct a new reality...now.
Due to continued waiting lists, St. Marcus launched Courage to Commit in July of 2014. Courage to Commit (C2C) is a four-year comprehensive campaign to support the growth and operations of St. Marcus School. The campaign has a preliminary goal of $18.8 million to support expansion, programming and the growth of the endowment fund.
St. Marcus believes there is no limit to what dedicated people can accomplish by working together. Are you interested in building the future of Milwaukee? St. Marcus invites you to come and see what they see: transformation in the heart of the city through its children and families. St. Marcus welcomes tours. Email email@example.com to set up a tour or get involved.
Visit www.couragetocommit.org to learn more about St. Marcus and the Courage to Commit campaign vision and progress to-date.
November Hero of the Month: Master Lock Company
The Master Lock Company is committed to building a safer, more secure world.
Protecting Property. People. Life. It’s a responsibility that this month’s hero, The Master Lock Company, takes seriously – and one that guides them to fulfill the expectations of their customers while remaining true to the beliefs they share as a company. Their purpose is to provide peace of mind and protection where people live, work and play. With that in mind, the company takes pride in being active in the community.
Each December, for almost 30 years, Master Lock employees from their Oak Creek and Milwaukee facilities support a local public grade school– Clarke Street School – with Breakfast with Santa, complete with presents for the 2nd grade class. This annual event is truly a team effort with collaboration from both Master Lock employees and school staff. Teachers collect ‘Letters to Santa’ and coordinate their instructional time to be able to include many fun activities.
Master Lock retirees, Donald “Tiny” Cheatham and Roberta “Bert” Fucile-Busateri take on the roles of Santa and Mrs. Claus. A volunteer community group called “Helping Hands” donates hand-knitted hats, scarves and mittens for each child. Master Lock employee Brian Fehrmann takes photos of each child with Santa. The company partners with Aramark to provide the children with a hot breakfast of scrambled eggs, pancakes and all the necessary accoutrements.
The employees from the Milwaukee Manufacturing Plant and the Oak Creek Office volunteer their time, money and generosity to ensure a memorable experience for each child. The children are surprised and thrilled to have one on one time with Santa as well as receive gift items from their wish list!
Core to The Master Lock Company’s corporate culture is strong community involvement and goodwill. This only happens with the cooperation of many individuals. For this, we salute The Master Lock Company and its iconic brands: Master Lock, American Lock, and SentrySafe.
The true heroes this month are the employees of The Master Lock Company!
About Master Lock:
The Master Lock Company is recognized around the world as the authentic, enduring name in padlocks and security products. Master Lock Company offers a broad range of innovative security and safety solutions for consumer, commercial, and industrial end-users. Master Lock Company LLC is an operating unit of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc., a leading consumer brands company. Headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., Fortune Brands Home & Security Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), is included in the S&P 500 Index. For more information about Master Lock visit www.masterlock.com.
October Hero of the Month: Goodwill Industries
Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago is a diverse non-profit community organization that provides training, employment and supportive services for people with disabilities or disadvantages who seek greater independence. This mission — over 95 years strong — strengthens individuals, families and communities. Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin and Metropolitan Chicago is the largest among 164 agencies in North America. Last year, the organization provided services to nearly 70,000 men and women with disabilities and disadvantages.
Goodwill is most known for the Store & Donation Centers. They are the very public face Goodwill’s operations. When you donate and shop in their stores, you provide revenue that is reinvested into programs and services that help put people to work in your community.
For more than 25 years, Goodwill has operated Day Services programs for adults with cognitive or physical disabilities, where recreation and social activities along with community integration opportunities are explored and encouraged. Goodwill Community Services focuses on improving the quality of life for seniors and their families. Through all of its programs and services Goodwill’s goal is to always support more independent and active lives for individuals.
Goodwill also operates several other lines of business, what they call social enterprises. Goodwill partners with companies who share our values and support our mission through job creation, real work experience and training opportunities. Their social enterprises include:
Goodwill Manufacturing – assembly and packaging services
Goodwill TalentBridge – recruitment and staffing
Goodwill Great Lakes – food service and logistics at Naval Station Great Lakes
Goodwill DataShield – secure document destruction
Goodwill Laundry & Linen – commercial laundry services
Goodwill Workforce Development – training programs and job related services
Work provides more than a paycheck. Employment for all of us affords self-esteem and a chance to cultivate individual talents. Having a job often provides a framework for our lives. Meaningful employment is defined differently for each of us. But at Goodwill, it’s defined by providing a real, personal and lasting solution for the individuals served.
Goodwill remains committed to helping people develop the skills they need to succeed in the workplace. For more information about Goodwill, go to GoodwillSEW.com
August Hero of the Month: Direct Supply
Direct Supply®, the nation’s leading provider of equipment, eCommerce and service solutions for senior living, is an employee-owned company headquartered in Milwaukee. In addition to the organization’s innovative product and service offerings, Direct Supply harnesses the energy of their dedicated team and champion partners to provide philanthropic and leadership opportunities that benefit the community they serve.
Community and neighborhood partnerships, causes and events of focus include:
A Focus on Health
- Serving local senior living communities and elder organizations through their Elder Emphasis initiative
- Health and hunger initiatives for youth-in-need
- Seniorfest Day at Summerfest
A Focus on Community & Neighborhood
- Supporting the greater Milwaukee neighborhoods through their Community Caring initiative
A Focus on Education
- Mentoring and serving STEM programs through their Future Leaders initiatives
As part of Direct Supply's focus on education, the organization was proud to host and fund the Boys & Girls Club of Milwaukee's annual "College Signing Day" where 100 inner-city students signed letters of intent to attend a college or university. Many of the students will be a first generation college attendee for their family. Watch the "Signing Day" highlights here:
Employee volunteers also enjoyed participating in programs such as the Milwaukee Police Department District 4 National Night Out, the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air Climb and Oxygen Ball, Care Packages for Troops, Rebuilding Together of Greater Milwaukee, Movember men’s health initiatives and much more.
In 2015, employee volunteer involvement exceeded 7,215 hours, 1,670 employee volunteers and participation in 178 events. View the full 2015 Social Impact Summary here. Direct Supply is on track to exceed these numbers during the 2016 fiscal year.
SalesSmith is honored to recognize Direct Supply for the incredible impact they are making in our community as we name their team our August
July Hero of the Month: Baird Associates
Along with boosting goodwill and serving community needs, a well-designed employee volunteer program improves employee morale, develops critical leadership skills and enhances company recruitment efforts.
One organization that is taking their employee volunteer program to the next level is our July Hero of the Month, Baird, which offers associates two paid days off to perform volunteer services each year. An important component of the company’s employee volunteer program is the annual, firm-wide “Baird Gives Back Week” which was held May 9 – 14, 2016 in cities including Milwaukee, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, London, Portland, Shanghai and more.
Organized by the Baird Gives Back Associate Resource Group, Baird Gives Back Week participants and their family members donated more than 5,200 volunteer hours to help more than 115 non-profit organizations. Activities included preparing and serving food, teaching and mentoring children, working with seniors, cleaning up cities and parks, building homes, and performing indoor and outdoor maintenance. By offering paid days to volunteer, Baird associates are given the opportunity to make a significant impact right in the greater Milwaukee areas and worldwide.
Why does Baird, a leading global financial services firm, put so much into their employee volunteer program? Baird Chairman, Paul E. Purcell explains:
“Baird Gives Back Week was created to foster that commitment to making a difference, and our associates’ participation and enthusiasm for the event has been nothing short of extraordinary. Baird associates are passionate about lending a hand to help others and improve their communities, and we are honored to have people like that throughout our organization.”
We salute Baird for creating a corporate culture that prioritizes giving back to those less fortunate in the community and throughout the world. This caring commitment is a tradition built through the efforts of the firm, Baird Foundation and Baird associates,and for this we are proud to name them our July Hero of the Month.
May Hero of the Month: David Gaus
Our Hero of the Month is David Gaus, a friend since my freshman year at Marquette University High School. David went on to Notre Dame to study business and become an accountant, but after a soul-searching conversation with the former President of Notre Dame, Fr. Theodore Hesburgh, he decided to volunteer in Ecuador through Milwaukee’s Working Boys Center . The experience changed his life forever: he decided to leave accounting and instead become a doctor to serve the poor of Ecuador.
In 2000, Dr. Gaus and his Madison-based organization, Andean Health & Development, opened a hospital in the rural town of Pedro Vicente Maldonado to serve some of Ecuador’s poorest people. In 2007, the hospital became financially self-sustaining through a unique combination of local financing mechanisms, and since 2000 has served 125,000 children and adults. In 2008, AHD started a family practice residency program for Ecuadorian physicians in the countryside. The model was so successful that AHD opened a second, larger facility in2014, called Hesburgh Hospital named after David’s mentor. That 60-bed facility is in the community of Santo Domingo, Ecuador, and houses a simulation training lab and research lab. Like AHD’s first hospital, Hesburgh Hospital is now on its way to financial self-sustainability. It was also a beacon of hope for the victims of the April 16th earthquake on the coast of Ecuador, treating hundreds of trauma patients.
Dr. David Gaus lives part-time in Ecuador and part-time in Madison. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have three bilingual, bicultural children.
To learn more about Andean Health & Development, please visit andeanhealth.org or view the links below.
December Hero of the Month: Milwaukee College Prep
In our early school years, the transformative power of an effective teacher is something most of us have experienced and understand on a personal level. For those who are particularly fortunate, we can recall multiple exceptional teachers who made a lasting impact on our lives because they allowed us to be free with our ideas, encouraged us to take on challenging work and inspired us to pursue higher education and rewarding careers.
The unfortunate reality for some Wisconsin students, particularly black children in the inner city, is that they do not have enough access to a rigorous, quality education with empowering teachers like many other children in more affluent communities. Wisconsin has been labeled one of the worst states in the nation for black children based on measures including poverty, single-parent households and math proficiency. Statewide, just over 15 percent of black students tested proficient on statewide exams in math, compared to 43 percent of white students, according to 2013-14 test scores from the state Department of Public Instruction.
Research indicates that teachers are the most important levers when it comes to improving student outcomes. Additionally, elementary and middle-school teachers who help raise their students’ standardized-test scores have a wide-ranging and lasting positive effect on those students’ lives beyond academics, including lower teenage-pregnancy rates and greater college matriculation and adult earnings, according to a new study.
We are honored to recognize our April Hero of the Month, Milwaukee College Prep, for their incredible work serving the children most in need of quality educational options in the city of Milwaukee. Milwaukee College Prep stands by their philosophy that an uncompromising K-8 education taught by an exceptional team of teachers is the difference between dreams realized and dreams denied. If a child can’t read, problem-solve, draw inferences, think critically, be self-disciplined and self-determined, that child will not realize his or her dreams…he or she won’t even come close. Having determined, loving, master teachers in every classroom makes the difference.
Milwaukee College Prep doesn’t just talk about their mission to provide equal parts academic rigor and character development, they stand by their ability to implement and have the results to prove it. In fact, Milwaukee College Prep currently serves over 1,950 scholars among four campuses and has achieved a 140 percent increase in scholar growth across all areas on the NWEA Map. Additionally, 98 percent of Milwaukee College Prep scholars graduate high school, compared to only 62 percent of their peers in Milwaukee.
Milwaukee College Prep wants to create a revolution in education with their ultimate goal being for every child in Milwaukee to receive an uncompromising education. We honor this School That Can (www.stcmilwaukee.org) and are committed to supporting their quest. In this video featuring Aaron Rodgers and one of Milwaukee College Prep’s inspiring educators, you’ll learn more about this great institution, the committed work they are doing in the city of Milwaukee and what you can do to support their critically important mission.
February Hero of the Month: Wisconsin Metal Parts
Giving Hope and Transforming Lives at a Tool & Die Shop?
What if you awoke one day and, completely out of the blue, your body tells you that something is very wrong? Your joints feel stiff and tingly, you’re unsteady on your feet, and a disconnected feeling of your mind and body overwhelms you. What if within days, you find that basic activities like getting dressed or picking up the newspaper can no longer be taken for granted? Questions persist: Will this ever get better? Could this get worse? And then a sinking feeling hits you with the realization that life can change on a dime and slap you in the face.
This is what a person diagnosed with MS, Multiple Sclerosis, faces every day. Daunting would be an understatement…discouraging and depressing comes to mind as well. But what if there was a place you could go that understood what you were experiencing and gave you hope, love and encouragement…and occasionally a swat in the tush for motivation?!
Well, there is such a place, right in the middle of Waukesha’s Industrial Park, just off Bluemound Road. For 3 years, every Wednesday and Friday from 10am-noon, people with MS are welcome at Wisconsin Metal Parts, where portions of the shop have been transformed into workout areas equipped with exercise bikes, elliptical machines, treadmills, an inversion table, walking paths, even a massage table with healing hands wanting to help.
This is not a fancy health club in the suburbs– it’s an industrial building that manufactures custom metal parts– but make no mistake, there is something very special going on here. This is a spirited community in every sense of the word. Faith, love, encouragement, support, camaraderie and teamwork permeate the atmosphere. There’s no time for a pity party. MS needs to get put in its place and evidence has shown that exercise is a key factor in slowing and even reversing the symptoms.
The fight and determination I witnessed left a lasting impression, one that will definitely cause me to think twice the next time I start complaining about minor aches and pains, or business ups and downs, or the stock market, or traffic…you get the picture.
Amazing physical gains have occurred within this community in a short period of time. One particular example is a woman who walked on her own, completely without assistance, for the first time in 28 years. Her daughter was there to witness it. And this determined lady plans on those initial 10 steps to become 100 steps, then 1,000, then 10,000. This is just one of the many triumphs happening here.
Yes, there are setbacks, but knowing that their MS family is there for them brings these heroes back each week and keeps them moving forward – with determination, faith and hope for a cure. We salute these brave individuals and the volunteers at Wisconsin Metal Parts as our February Heroes of the Month. Learn more about Wisconsin Metal Parts here.
December Hero of the Month: Whyte Light
Our hero of the month, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. (WHD), gives employees $100 through the firm’s Whyte Lights program and asks them to support a charitable cause that they care about. Each year, the firm compiles the employees’ causes and provides a narrative on how each employee used his or her $100. While the current year’s publication is currently in production, you can read the 2014 inspirational stories here.
After just three years, Whyte Lights has assisted 135 individuals, 44 families and 277 organizations. The firm’s hope is that these small acts of kindness will encourage others to get involved, see the bright side of things and make a difference in the world.
We salute WHD for giving employees the opportunity to “pay it forward” and reap the rewards that serving others provides. After our staff reviewed the Whyte Lights issue, we had four significant takeaways:
- Although there are many well-known nonprofit organizations that provide critical assistance in our area, there are also multitudes of unpublicized stories of people close to us who face challenges…our neighbors, coworkers, parish members…suffering from unexpected issues such as illnesses, medical bills, family issues, violence and joblessness.
- The challenges that people face know no geographic boundaries. Hungry people in Wauwatosa, homeless people in Washington County…wherever we live, there are people in need.
- With initiative, determination and a little entrepreneurial attitude, small acts of kindness can raise awareness for causes and propel others to get involved, creating a multiplier effect.
- Finally, a common thread of Whyte Lights is people helping others to fulfill their basic needs of love, dignity, safety, food, shelter and clothing, all leading to a closer connectedness to humankind.
WHD is a prime example of an organization dedicated to making change in our community. Learn more about the firm here.
November Hero of the Month: myTEAM TRIUMPH Wisconsi
Enabling the Spirit of Challenged Athletes
myTEAM TRIUMPH is a non-profit athletic mentoring program created for children, teens, adults and veterans with disabilities who would normally not be able to experience endurance events such as triathlons or road races. The goal is to enrich the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities by fostering lasting, authentic relationships through the teamwork environment of endurance athletics.
How it works
Captains are challenged athletes, and they are the inspiration of the team with their spirit of courage and joy.
Three able-bodied Angels utilize specialized racing equipment to guide their Captain in a Road Race or Triathlon.
The "crew" assisting with set up and transition at training and races!
Crossing the finish line together, teams build deep bonds based on respect, and an experience they will never forget!
Currently, myTEAM TRIUMPH WI is seeking to raise $400K to purchase additional race chairs, bike trailers and boats to provide more Captains the opportunity to train for and participate in upcoming events. Learn more about them at myteamtriumph-wi.org
October Hero of the Month: Reinhart Law
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and it is currently the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. It is a disease that in one way, shape or form, has affected all of us. October is Breast Health Awareness Month and we are proud to announce that our very first Hero of the Month is awarded to an organization that is making significant strides in the fight against breast cancer.
Most know that amazing things can happen when motivated individuals, filled with heart-felt passion, band together for a worthy cause. Since 1994, with full support from the organization’s leadership, Reinhart Boerner Van Dueren s.c. has supported the American Cancer Society's Making Strides For Breast Cancer Walk. Through their involvement, Reinhart has raised thousands of dollars and surpassed the 100 walker mark for participation.
Each spring, driven by the desire to help eradicate breast cancer in our lifetime and knowing that the Strides Walk proceeds stay right here in southeastern Wisconsin, the employees at Reinhart put action into place. With an upbeat and positive attitude, volunteer committee members encourage employees to become a member of "TEAM REINHART LAW" with fun and collaborative events such as:
- An ice cream social to jump start the campaign
- A tulip sale surrounding Administrative Professionals Day
- A bake sale & gift basket drawing
- A 50/50 raffle
- Silent auction items
- A "wear jeans to work" contribution prize – very popular!
- Easy tools for registering and donating online
And in the true spirit of giving, Reinhart has created the "Chemo Cap Crew," an amazing group of giving individuals who dedicate their time and treasure to knitting caps for chemotherapy patients. To date, over 10,000 caps have been produced and distributed worldwide!
Please join us in congratulating our first Hero of the Month – Reinhart Boerner Van Dueren s.c. If you are interested in nominating an individual or organization, please contact Julie Fischer, Marketing Manager.