October Hero of the Month: Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club
America SCORES Milwaukee, the community outreach program of the Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club, strives to inspire urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students, and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world.
By eliminating two of the major limitations that prevent more children from urban neighborhoods from participating in organized sports (limited resources and a lack of transportation), America SCORES Milwaukee offers sport-based youth development programs year-round to children across the city. Offered at no cost, on school grounds, and with transportation to weekly soccer games provided, more than 2,000 youth participate in SCORES programming.
Based around soccer, SCORES creates teams that work together on the field, in the classroom, and in our community. Unlike the traditional sport league model though, SCORES focuses on holistic youth development by engaging youth in academic and volunteer activities. During the fall months, participants participate in poetry workshops which is a fun way for youth to express their interests and feelings, builds confidence in writing and increases academic engagement. At the end of the fall season, each “poet-athlete” will take to the stage to perform their very own poem in front of an audience of peers, family, community members, and celebrity judges.
During the spring season, SCORES participants give back to our community by designing their own service project which supports a community need or area non-profits. Past projects have created community gardens, installed “little free libraries”, and supported organizations like the Humane Society, Red Cross, and Hometown Heroes, among many others.
When they’re not working hard in the classroom or giving back to our community, SCORES participants practice their soccer skills and compete against other SCORES teams a community-wide game days. With more than 35 teams each year, SCORES is uniting youth from all areas of the city.
Supported by community volunteers (check out opportunities) [www.americascoresmke.org/volunteer] and their annual SCORES CUP corporate soccer tournament (see ways to play or sponsor) [www.americascoresmke.org/scores-cup], SCORES participants are developing self-confidence, a life-long appreciation of sports, and dedication to healthy behaviors.
July Hero of the Month: Hunger Task Force
The Mission Statement of Hunger Task Force, Milwaukee’s Free & Local Food bank since 1974, says it all:
“HUNGER TASK FORCE BELIEVES THAT EVERY PERSON HAS A RIGHT TO ADEQUATE FOOD OBTAINED WITH DIGNITY. WE WORK TO PREVENT HUNGER AND MALNUTRITION BY PROVIDING FOOD TO PEOPLE IN NEED TODAY AND BY PROMOTING SOCIAL POLICIES TO ACHIEVE A HUNGER FREE COMMUNITY TOMORROW.”
Hunger Task Force is Milwaukee’s Free & Local food bank and Wisconsin’s leading anti-hunger organization, fighting hunger on all fronts. Their food bank provides healthy and nutritious food free of charge to a local network of food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters.
They also fight to end future hunger through advocacy and anti-hunger public policy work, providing nutrition education and teach children and families how to eat healthy.
The Hunger Task Force Farm is a 208-acre farm dedicated to growing fresh produce for Milwaukee’s hungry. Fresh produce is grown and distributed directly to Hunger Task Force’s network of 74 pantries, soup kitchens, meal sites and homeless shelters, as well as 102 senior citizen centers – absolutely free of charge.
Over the past five growing seasons The Farm has grown and distributed 3.7 million pounds of fresh produce, feeding Milwaukee’s most critical populations – children, seniors and families – all affected by hunger and malnutrition. More than 25 varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables are grown with the support of more than 5,000 community volunteers.
Farming isn’t all they do. The Farm boasts a nutrition education program teaching low-income students how to garden and learn healthy-eating habits in their full-scale demonstration kitchen. The Farm’s hidden oak savanna is a natural areas gem, an endangered ecosystem of towering oaks set along the root river, complete with hiking trails. Supporters can help by Adopting-a-Crop or by volunteering their time. Click here for more details!
We are proud to associate with Hunger Task Force and recognize them as our Hero of the Month. To learn more about how you can get involved in this awesome organization, click on www.hungertaskforce.org
May Hero of the Month: American Transmission Company
Recognized by Great Place To Work and Fortune Magazine as one of the Nation’s 50 Best Workplaces for Giving Back, the employees of Waukesha-based American Transmission Company (ATC) volunteered a remarkable 19,000 hours of their time in 2016. For this dedication to our community, we are proud to name ATC as our Hero of the Month.
ATC is a transmission-only utility that helps meet the electric needs of more than 5 million people in portions of Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, and Illinois.
ATC’s tagline is “Helping to keep the lights on, businesses running, and communities strong.” ® There is a recognized high level of employee pride, trust, and camaraderie regarding this mission, with the “Paying It Forward in the community” aspect being taken very seriously. The employees definitely “walk the talk” when it comes to helping the less fortunate, as evidence by the following initiatives:
ATC partners with the Ice Age Trail Alliance Summer Saunters program to provide an opportunity for youth to learn about Wisconsin’s glacial, cultural and natural history while hiking and exploring along the trail. Along with getting exercise, the children studied geology, geography, trees, plants and insects.
For their Earth Days of Caring, employees volunteered for a spring cleanup at the University of Wisconsin-Arboretum’s Longenecker Horticultural Gardens, donated and planted seedlings at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, and built a boardwalk to help complete a section of trail at Riveredge Nature Center.
Employee donations to United Way exceeded $167,000 in 2016 to support programs that create life-changing opportunities for their neighbors. As a company, they also donated $690,000 to more than 400 organizations that improve our communities. And, their Matching Gifts Program benefited 75 different organizations supported by their employees.
For their United Way Days of Caring, employees filled hundreds of backpacks with school supplies for the Backpack Coalition in Waukesha, welcomed guests receiving needed services from Project Homeless Connect at Marquette University, participated in a Habitat for Humanity project in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and served meals at Freedom House in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Habitat for Humanity
During Habitat for Humanity’s National Women Build Week, 20 employees erected the second-story framing of a home for two families.
Helping Fight Hunger
Employees donated more than 7,000 meals to the hungry in 2016 by supporting Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin’s Mobile Food Pantry Program. Additionally, employee volunteers unloaded and sorted buses full of food for easy distribution to pantries at Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin the day before Thanksgiving.
More than 300 employees and their family members participated in rides, runs and walks to support community organizations and local charities in 2016. ATC sponsored the registration fees while employees participated and raised thousands of dollars to support the UPAF Ride for the Arts, Briggs and Al’s Run & Walk for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Hank Aaron State Trail 5K Run/Walk, Parkinson’s Half Marathon, Bellin Run and ProHealth Care Walks for Cancer.
One of ATC's company values is "Care", and it is evident that their employees' actions within the community that they take this commitment very seriously. We applaud American Transmission Company as our Hero of the Month!
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."