Festive Sweaters

Families can still get out their horrible sweaters and go for a run to raise funds for the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection.

The Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is continuing to serve neighbors in need through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nonprofit social service agency has announced a holiday gift card or grocery delivery service and a retooled its Horrible Holiday Sweater Shuffle this year.

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is offering grocery gift cards or grocery delivery to anyone in the community who is having difficulty making ends meet this holiday season.

Due to COVID restrictions, the Neighborhood Connection’s holiday meal program will be a bit different.

Individuals or families who quality will receive a gift card to Piggly Wiggly to purchase groceries. Those who are homebound or unable to shop due to a medical condition will still receive the groceries delivered to their door.

Anyone wishing to register for this program can contact Waunakee Neighborhood Connection at (608) 849-5740. The deadline to register is Friday, Dec. 4.

It is anticipated that as many as 200 families will benefit from the holiday meal program this year at a cost of $30 per family. Donations to support the program can be made online at waunakeeneighborhoodconnection.org or mailed to the organization at 208 S. Century Ave., Waunakee, WI 53597.

Sweater Shuffle

Though Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is unable to hold its annual Horrible Holiday Sweater Shuffle 5k run this year due to the pandemic, people can still have fun and participate virtually to raise funds to support area families.

The new Horrible Holiday Sweater Celebration will take place starting the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, traditionally the day of the “Shuffle,” through Dec. 1, which is Giving Tuesday.

Those who register will be given access to their own customized online fundraising page to be shared with family, friends and colleagues to collect donations. The page is designed to be personalized with photos or videos of the participants in their horrible holiday sweaters. Everyone will also be encouraged to share their photos and videos via social media, and prizes will be awarded in a number of categories.

To learn more about the event to register, visit Waunakee Neighborhood Connection’s website.

“It has been difficult this year not being able to hold our two biggest fundraisers while our number of clients and the needs of families in the community has increased so dramatically,” said Lisa Humenik, Neighborhood Connection’s executive director. “We’re excited that the Horrible Holiday Sweater Celebration will be a creative and engaging way for individuals, families and work colleagues to kick off the Christmas season while giving to the great cause of neighbors helping neighbors.”

The organization serves 185 Waunakee-area families, nearly 600 individuals, experiencing financial difficulties, with a free community store, case management and referrals, assistance with medical expenses and holiday programs such as Adopt a Family and Christmas meal groceries.

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