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Match Day raises money for needy

March 13, 2014

The Food Pantry of Waukesha County, Hebron House of Hospitality, Hope Center and The Women's Center will once again collaborate in the third annual Match Day event, a 24-hour online fundraiser to increase awareness for the basic needs of individuals suffering in greater Milwaukee on March 13 at www.MatchDayMKE.org.

These agencies are collaborating on Match Day to raise funds for their programs that promote economic development and independence for individuals and families struggling for basic needs in Waukesha County.

In 2013 the Food Pantry served 17,575 individuals, Hebron House provided 21,560 nights of shelter for 659 people, Hope Center served 9,766 individuals, and The Women's Center served more than 9,000 individuals. "Without these agencies, we'd see an increase in crime, violence and poverty," said County Executive Dan Vrakas. "These agencies do more than simply meet basic needs. They help drill down to the root of the problems and uncover their causes. For example, if someone is hungry, why are they hungry? Are they jobless, or homeless, or experiencing violence in the home? These groups address the issue and empower individuals get their lives back on track."

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation's Basic Needs Fund was created in 2008 to assist nonprofits in addressing urgent food and shelter needs within the metropolitan area. Match Day was organized by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to increase support for the 20 nonprofit agencies the Basic Needs Fund supports, including the Food Pantry of Waukesha County, Hebron House of Hospitality, Hope Center and The Women's Center.

The Food Pantry of Waukesha County, Hebron House of Hospitality, Hope Center and The Women's Center provide referrals and rely upon the programs and services of one another in an effort to offer individuals and families a comprehensive network of resources to ensure independence, empowerment, economic stability and employment literacy. A collaborative relationship among these four recipients of the Basic Needs Fund recognizes that clients benefit from a multifaceted approach. The Food Pantry of Waukesha County, Hebron House of Hospitality, Hope Center and The Women's Center also recognize that Waukesha County donors want their dollars reinvested back into their communities to maintain community sustainability.

"Match Day is an opportunity for our agencies to raise awareness and funding for the food and shelter needs that directly benefit the many women, men and children struggling in Waukesha County," said Hebron House Executive Director Bernie Juno. "The generosity of our Waukesha County neighbors has always been appreciated, but their support is even more critical this year during Match Day because this event will not be held in 2015."

Match Day is an opportunity for individuals, businesses, and foundations to support nonprofit organizations that help individuals and families attain basic needs. All gifts starting at $10 or higher are matched proportionately. Donors may schedule their online donation ahead of time to be processed on Match Day. More than $620,000 was raised in 2013 by the four Waukesha County agencies. Match Day will not be conducted in 2015 due to the Greater Milwaukee Foundation's 100th anniversary celebration.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, individual donors, the Brewers Community Foundation, The Ceres Foundation, Faye McBeath Foundation, and United Way of Greater Milwaukee have pledged more than $750,000 toward the Match Day pool on March 13. For more information, visit www.MatchDayMKE.org.

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