Wisconsin Public Service Foundation observes “Giving Tuesday”
By Star Journal Staff
Habitat for Humanity Northwoods was on the receiving end of “Giving Tuesday,” this year. The Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to the organization which was presented to Habitat board members Tuesday morning, December 1, at the ReStore located on North Stevens Street in Rhinelander. The non-profit Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for and with people in need, serves Oneida and Vilas Counties. WPS community relations leader, Leah Van Zile said the Foundation finds Habitat for Humanity to be a worthy cause.
“The ReStore is something we have supported in other communities,” Van Zile said. “We’re excited that there is a store in Rhinelander to help Habitat for Humanity continue its mission of helping others in need.”
Ray Burgan, Habitat president, said the donation is appreciated since the entire cost of the homes the group builds must be saved before work begins.
In recognition of Giving Tuesday, WPS Foundation surprised 44 local non-profits with grants.
“Through a random drawing, 50 employees of WPS, Minnesota Energy Resources and Michigan Gas Utilities were given the opportunity to pay it forward by selecting a non-profit organization to receive a $250 donation, for a total of $12,500 from the Foundation,” according to a press release.
In Rhinelander, the Rhinelander Basketball Association and Tri-County Council were recipients.
Giving Tuesday was founded in 2012 by New York’s 92nd Street Y in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. Stated on the givingtuesday.org website, a global movement was launched which engaged more than 30,000 organizations worldwide. Giving Tuesday is observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The website estimates that since its inception, there has been a 470 percent increase in online donations on that day.
The Foundation is funded by company shareholders, not by the customers of its utility subsidiaries, and is in its 51st year. Through direct grants, scholarships and an employee Matching Gifts and Dollars for Doers program, the Foundation actively supports improvements in the quality of life in the communities served by Wisconsin Public Service, Michigan Gas Utilities, and Minnesota Energy Resources. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided nearly $30 million in contributions to programs that support activities in the areas of arts and culture, community and neighborhood development, education, human services and health, and care for the environment.