All ages work together to Give Chippewa County a boost
By Ginna Young
Giving can be rewarding and fulfilling, but it’s not just for retirees or the “well off.” That’s why Give Chippewa County was started, to educate the public on the spirit of giving and how it can be done at any age, with the organization leaning on characteristics already in the area, such as selflessness.
“We’re really trying to emphasize this for our new generation,” said Matthew White, Give Chippewa County Committee chairman.
The new endeavor is to connect the wisdom and character of the older population to mentor the younger adults in the communities.
“As we become older, I think we naturally become more giving…we realize there’s a lot more happiness in it,” said White. “This is meant to help accelerate that, help drive that internal purpose in each of us, to kind of look over to our neighbor and help them out sooner in life.”
Originally, a few ladies got together, wanting to do something for the area, but realizing they might be in over their heads, they turned to the Community Foundation of Chippewa County for planning help. Mary Jacobson, a member of the Give Chippewa County Development Committee, says they took a step back and didn’t want to assume the culture of giving that exists in the Chippewa Valley, would continue after the older generation is gone.
“We know that reward, we know how satisfying it is to be able to help someone and we don’t look at it as a sacrifice at all,” said Jacobson. “We just look at how honored we are that we can all work together.”
“We want to have a multi-generational community of members for this,” said White. “The wise and the less experienced get together, and collaborate.”
The new organization saw the need to reach out and invite others, as an opportunity to enhance community. As the planning commenced, Jacobson says they looked at a lot of giving circles and did a lot of research.
Once the fact-finding was completed, Give Chippewa County created an Endowment and Pass-Through Fund with the Community Foundation of Chippewa County. The premise is, that everyone who belongs to the organization, pools an annual gift (of $250 per member) together, so throughout the years, they can point money in the directions that the communities need.
“It’s about making a better tomorrow than today,” said White, adding that with Give Chippewa County, people can be aware of a lot more non-profit organizations and charities than they would be normally. “We want to expose them, we want to shed light on them.”
Twice a year, a granting cycle is open for organizations to apply for funding. But it doesn’t stop there, as the members will be able to see where the money goes and how it was used – what impact it had – with a bi-annual report from the grant awardees.
This cycle, there are seven non-profit organizations vying for funds, including one in Cadott and one in Holcombe. For this first granting cycle, the public is asked to cast their vote for who they think should be awarded the money.
Voting is open until Feb. 13, at https://www.surveymonkey. com/r/GiveChippewaSurvey.
The public can vote for the Come Now & Eat: Backpack Buddies NOW, where children who attend the Cadott School District receive food from the program to take home. The bags are packed with food purchased from Feed My People, then delivered to the school to send home with the children who are “food insecure.”
Or, voting can be directed to the Lake Holcombe School greenhouse improvements, with the goal to involve students with the knowledge of planting and maintaining the health of the things they grow. Equipment is needed to upgrade the facility and double the food production. The excess fresh vegetables and fruits grown would be given to the local food pantry, to help others.
“We would like to impact as many people as possible in the community,” said White.
White said Give Chippewa County doesn’t just want people to sign up and pay their $250, but wants them to dedicate themselves to making a difference, by reading the submitted grant applications and seeing where their money will be used.
Since he traverses a large part of Chippewa County with his work, White said he sees a need in not just the county seat, but in the northern rural parts, as well, and wants to give those organizations a fair shot at funding.
“We want to have it spread out through the county,” said White.
More information on Give Chippewa County and their mission can be found at https://www.yourlegacyforever. org/funds/give_chippewa_county.phtml.
“I think Chippewa County is very unique, that the culture is to just help – whether it’s volunteering or donating,” said Jacobson, who says a person, no matter their age, doesn’t need a six-figure salary to help out. “You just need to have a generous heart.”