Ways to Give Back in Northwestern WI.

Tis the season of giving! While the holidays can be busy, stressful, full of shopping and food, it is also a good time to remember to slow down and appreciate those around you. While you appreciate your family and friends, this could also include your community. Make this season a season of giving, perhaps to those who may be less fortunate than you. Here are some great ways to get involved and give back to our community this holiday season!

Ruby’s Pantry: Donate gently used children and adult clothes, shoes, dishes, and more! Ruby’s pantry, located at 24534 State Hwy 35 70 in Siren, WI, collects donated items for those who need it in rural areas. They also accept food donations and distribute food for those who need it every 4th Thursday of the month.

Salvation Army (Faith House) Backpack Program: The Backpack Program collects new backpacks filled with food for children to take home on the weekends. The food is child-friendly, nonperishable, and vitamin fortified. Backpacks are discreetly distributed to children in need on the last day before the weekend or before a holiday vacation. To volunteer for the program call 715-349-8744 and speak with Sure. If you wish to donate to the program, please drop off food items to the Faith House at 7764 West Main Street in Siren, WI – Tuesday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Wild Rivers Habitat for Humanity: Wild Rivers serves the Burnett, Polk, Rusk and Washburn counties. Their mission is to help eliminate poverty in Northwest Wisconsin by building homes, donating food, clothes, cars and other items to those in need. You can help by volunteering first hand in various settings, or donating food items, money, tools, and even cars, RVs, trucks and boats. Visit http://wildrivershabitat.org/ for more information.

Interfaith Caregivers: Interfaith Caregivers reaches out to the elderly and disabled adults in Burnett and Polk County. They are always looking for volunteers to help out around a person’s home. Service opportunities include: light housework, transportation, grocery shopping, running errands, friendly visiting, minor home repairs, yard work and snow shoveling and much more. They even collect firewood donations for their Heat-a-Home project. If you would like to volunteer for an elderly or disabled person in need, please visit Interfaith Caregivers’ Facbook page.

Local Churches and Grocery Stores: Each year around the holidays, many churches volunteer their time and money toward those in need in our area. This could include food drives, caregiving, volunteering to shovel driveways, transportation, and blanket or snow boot drives. But of course you can’t forget Operation Christmas Child! Most churches in the area collect shoeboxes with toys for children overseas, check out the Burnett County website for a list of churches in our area. http://www.burnettcounty.com

Grocery stores, such as Wayne’s Food Plus, also accepts nonperishable food donations for distribution to the hungry in our rural area.

Whatever way you decide to give back to our community, remember no act of kindness is too small or too big! Merry Christmas! ~ Abby Ingalls