RHINELANDER - As part of a pledge to help those impacted by COVID-19, the Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) Foundation is announcing donations to 31 nonprofit organizations across northeast and north central Wisconsin.
These grants are helping recipients provide essential items, such as groceries and personal care products, to those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
WPS Foundation grants have helped:
10 local United Way chapters, including the Northwoods United Way, provide essential supplies and support to individuals and families.
Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing, which used a grant to provide assistance to homeless families.
Rhinelander Area Food Pantry, which used its grant to provide groceries and food boxes to area residents.
"WPS employees and the WPS Foundation have always been big supporters of our northern Wisconsin counties," said Nancy Sattler, executive director of the Northwoods United Way. "As time has gone on, the trickle-down effect of businesses closing and layoffs occurring are causing many area residents to be fearful of how they will take care of their families. Support for our Community Response Fund has contributed to many human service agencies in our area being able to help those in need."
Current and retired WPS employees also are making a difference through the WPS Foundation's Matching Gifts program, which is matching personal donations dollar-for-dollar to organizations helping those impacted by COVID-19. To date, these personal donations, combined with the WPS Foundation match, have raised more than $40,000 for COVID-19 relief efforts.
These contributions are part of a $1 million commitment from the WPS and We Energies charitable foundations announced in April to help the communities they serve during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since they were established, the foundations have donated more than $200 million to provide a brighter future to communities throughout Wisconsin.
- The U.S. headed into the Fourth of July weekend with many parades and fireworks displays canceled, beaches and bars closed, and health authorities warning that this will be a crucial test of Americans' self-control that could determine the trajectory of the surging coronavirus outbreak.
With confirmed cases climbing in 40 states, governors and local officials have ordered the wearing of masks in public, and families were urged to celebrate their independence at home. Even then, they were told to keep their backyard cookouts small.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - President Donald Trump will begin his Independence Day weekend on Friday with a patriotic display of fireworks at Mount Rushmore, an event expected to draw thousands where masks and social distancing aren't required as coronavirus cases spike across the country.
Trump is expected to speak at the event, which has issued 7,500 tickets to watch fireworks that he says will be a "display like few people have seen."
MADISON, WI - Cigarette smoking rates have dropped since Wisconsin's Smoke-Free Indoor Air Law went into effect 10 years ago.
In 2008, before the law passed, 20% of Wisconsin adults smoked cigarettes. By 2018, the rate had dropped to 16%. High school youth cigarette smoking rates dropped from nearly 21% in 2008 to nearly 5% in 2018.
State cigarette taxes were also increased during this time period and contribute to this reduction.
"Wisconsin is breathing easier today thanks to this law, but we know there are many people in our state who still smoke," said DHS Secretary-Designee Andrea Palm. "We urge smokers to take advantage of the programs available to help them to quit, especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, as people who smoke are believed to be more susceptible to the virus, and can become severely ill with it."
CRANDON - The Forest County Humane Society works around the clock to help animals find forever homes. But taking care of those animals during their stay doesn't just take a lot of time; it takes a lot of money, too.
The shelter got a helping hand, thanks to a $35,000 grant from the ASPCA. It's part of an initiative to help brick-and-mortar shelters improve their animals' quality of life.
Shelter director Angie Schaefer says that money paid for 20 new cat-condos, fencing for two new dog yards, and several other much-needed supplies.
"We're small, we're in a small community, so to raise that kind of money to get these items would have been quite a task. For them to step in and do that for us is amazing," said Schaefer.
Schaefer said the extra yards will allow dogs to spend more time outside and socialize with each other.
If you're interested in volunteering or donating to the humane society, visit its website for more information.
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