Partner Agencies

MKG partners with the agencies listed on this page. The agency information  provided here was obtained from agency websites and direct contact with agency staff. For further information, see each website. For information on donation to MKG of completed items, see the main Community Projects page.

Bayview Foundation (http://www.bayviewfoundation.org/)

MKG donations: hats, scarves, mittens, and warm headbands for children in the After-School Program. The children are also able to select items to take home for siblings, parents and grandparents.

Bayview Foundation was established in 1966.  The Foundation built Bayview Townhomes, subsidized housing for low income residents, located within the heart of Madison’s historic Greenbush Neighborhood, in 1971.  In 1985, The Bayview International Center for Education and the Arts (informally known as Bayview), the housing development’s centrally located community center, was constructed with the purpose of offering high quality and free supportive services for Bayview’s residents.

The Center is one of several organizations under the umbrella of the Bayview Foundation.  Its uniqueness stems from its focus on developing the family through cultural pride, education and arts appreciation.  Whether it’s the publication of refugee experiences in its newsletter, the showcasing of cultures in its annual Triangle Ethnic Fest or the Call for Peace Dance Company, the influence of the Center is multi-layered.

A second aspect of its uniqueness is the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic composition of the families who participate in the Center’s activities. These families have roots in the Hmong culture along with the cultures of Laos, Mexico, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Cambodia, Colombia, China, many countries in Africa as well as African Americans and Native Americans. About 20 languages are spoken in and around Bayview.

In 1996, a second story was added to the Center providing more office and meeting space and, just as important, a large practice room especially designed for dance. The space has enabled Bayview to host several small conferences and workshops as well as provide practice space for a wide variety of ethnic dance groups. Most recently, the Center installed computers for use by adults and children. A monthly on-site food pantry is open to the public. 

An After-School Program serves over 75 youth (ages 7-18) from immigrant and refugee families each year. The program, offered throughout the school year, free of charge, is focused on providing high-quality academic support, visual and performing arts activities, and access to healthy snacks and wellness activities. Youth represent over 8 countries, with most speaking English as a Second Language and qualifying for free school lunch. The dedicated staff collaborate with Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) teachers to support youth in challenging the achievement gap.

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Columbus Hospital-Women’s and Childbirth Service

MKG donations: blankets for newborns

Columbus Community Hospital is a small rural hospital in a town of about 5,000 people northeast of Madison.  Their Women's and Childbirth Services Unit primarily serves patients from Columbia, Dane, Dodge, and Jefferson counties.  They currently deliver just under 100 babies per year in beautiful, state-of-the-art facilities.  Staff tell us that about half of their delivering mothers have a high school diploma or less and almost the same number receive some government assistance for themselves and their families.  The program provides family-centered childbirth services along with support to young families.  The director has shared that they love being able to send patients home with a new blanket, because not all of them have that.

We really appreciate your members’ generosity.”

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Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) http://abuseintervention.org

MKG donations: scarves (light-weight and winter), cowls and slippers as well as yarn and fleece scraps for the children’s program

For the past 40 years, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) has provided services and support to victims and survivors of domestic violence in Dane County.  DAIS has grown from their start as a volunteer help-line to an organization that offers crisis intervention services including the only emergency domestic violence shelter in Dane County, a 24-Hour Help Line, weekly support groups, legal advocacy, children’s programming, and much more to members of our community. 

The need continues to be great.  Information from the DAIS website indicates that one in four women and one in seven men in our community will experience domestic violence.  DAIS estimates that there are 12,000 incidents of domestic violence in Dane County annually, averaging 33 per day. Even though DAIS more than doubled its number of shelter beds in 2014, the DAIS shelter is full every day.  Last year, 53% of the shelter population were parents who had their children with them.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that close to half of all victims seeking emergency shelter said they delayed leaving because they feared for the safety of their pets and knew of no safe place to take them. DAIS is one of the few shelters that offers a place for both victims and  their pets. When DAIS opened the new facility in 2014, they knew they had to include an emergency kennel. The Pet Stop at DAIS provides a safe home for shelter clients to bring their pets. DAIS partners with Sheltering Animals of Abuse Victims and the Dane County Humane Society, to provide emergency shelter to the pets of those seeking shelter.  Providing this small sense of relief by knowing their pets are going to be temporarily fostered by trained and passionate volunteers, allows these individuals to begin their next steps towards hope and safety.

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East Madison Community Center (www.EastMadisonCC.org)

MKG donations: Hats, mittens, scarves for children and adults; other knit items (e.g., sweaters) and baby clothing and fleece blankets; toiletries in December. Matching hat and scarf sets and the beautiful hats are highly prized.

The MKG Community Projects Committee has supported the East Madison Community Center (EMCC) for the last several years with voluminous donations of toiletries and, most importantly, hand-knitted and crocheted items that are warm and fashionable!  EMCC was formed in 1966 out of a community need to help expand activities for area youth and adults. The Center began in humble quarters in a small apartment, initially providing youth with structured activities and adults with a neighborhood-based meeting facility. For over 50 years, EMCC has provided a safe place for families in the Truax neighborhood to gather, learn, and support one another. EMCC is devoted to helping residents achieve their goals, gain skills, and strengthen the community through education, employment, fitness and socialization.

Today the center serves more than 5000 people each year.  A wide range of programs are available for adults and children, including free After School and Saturday drop-in care to 150 children a month, Summer Day Camp for preteens and teens, fitness programs, 40 garden plots for community gardening, and a food pantry that includes household items and clothing. The need for the pantry has quadrupled in recent years so the EMCC food pantry is now open weekly.  In addition to food donations, EMCC purchases food for the pantry.  In one month, the pantry may serve 150 adults, 200 children, 40 seniors, and 149 families.

The Guild’s donation of baby blankets and clothing supports a drop-in program for families of infants and young children. A doula provides services as part of the program.

EMCC makes sure that the lovely, warm, hand-made accessories go to the children (pre-school through high school) participating in EMCC programing, with an effort to supply a hat, mittens, and a sweater, when available to each.  Any remaining items are first offered to the seniors who use the center, especially those who utilize public transportation. The MKG member who delivers the items reports that the center’s participants run to see the accessories when they get word of a new delivery.  The staff pay attention to which items appeal to which people, and try to ensure that they get what caught their eye, when the time comes for distribution.  

The participants and staff at EMCC are extremely grateful for the support from MKG.  You’ve helped them feel nourished and warm—what could be better?

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Falk Family Resource Center (https://falk.madison.k12.wi.us/)

MKG donations: Fleece blankets and dishcloths/washcloths

Falk Elementary School is a 4K-5th grade elementary school located on the southwest side of Madison in the Memorial High School attendance area.  Falk is a neighborhood school where approximately 90% of the students walk from home. Enrollment is approximately 400. There is an onsite after-school program run by MSCR (Safe Haven).  Regular newsletters are sent home to families each month with school news and resource information.  The newsletter is translated from English to Spanish, Khmer, and Hmong by the Bilingual Resource Specialists.

The Falk Family Resource Center opened in September 2016 to better meet the needs of students and their families. The Center provides a food pantry, gently used clothing for children, hygiene and household supplies, computer access and assistance searching for jobs and housing.  The school social worker and parent liaison from Falk are also available to provide service referrals and assistance with housing and employment.  Weekend meal bags are provided to students in transition.  No identification or documentation of income or address is required to access the pantry. The Falk Family Resource Center has also distributed Housing Stability Mini Grants to prevent eviction and homelessness in their attendance area.  The Center has many community partners and donors including Second Harvest Food Bank, Community Action Coalition, area churches, senior center and individual donors.

In the spring of 2017, the food pantry served approximately 40 families and distributed about 1,000 pounds of food per month. Families can access the pantry once per week and there is no limit on food or on the number of household items families can have. As a small pantry with a finite population to serve, school staff hope to provide families with what they truly need when they come in for assistance.    

The school social worker shared “I'm excited to hear there are more blankets! They were a big hit. I sent some home with kiddos I knew were expecting siblings. They were adorably excited.”

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Madison Elementary Schools (www.madison.k12.wi.us/)

MKG donations: Hats, mittens, and keyhole scarves for children ages 4-11.

Each September and October, MKG Community Projects focuses on providing hats, scarves, and mittens to Madison Elementary Schools that have a high percentage of students in need.  Schools are selected each year by addressing requests we receive from individual schools, and in collaboration with The Hat Ladies, who sew fleece hats for approximately 7,000 area children each year.  We do not duplicate donations of hats in a given year. Schools we contact in the district generally are among those with high numbers of students who qualify for free or reduced cost lunches.  Contacts with school social workers or parent liaisons at the schools help us best provide the type and number of items needed.  

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Monona Library Reading Programs (http://mymonona.com/131/Library)

MKG donations: toys, including critters and balls

The Monona Public Library uses the knit and crocheted toys that they receive from the Guild as prizes and incentives in several of their programs:

The goal of the Summer Reading Program is to prevent loss of skills when school is out.

A few years ago, library staff decided to reduce the number of plastic trinkets used for prizes. When children complete their daily reading goal 24 times, they earn a free book or knit critter. At the end of the 2016 summer reading program, there were approximately 370 knit critters given away to children, aged newborn through high school. Seven hundred readers completed the summer reading program in 2016. There is also a random drawing of prizes for participants in Kindergarten through high school who continue reading after finishing their reading logs, with about 5 to 10 knit critters given to high school students, about 10 knit critters for grades K-5 and about 5 for grades 6-8.

“Children of all ages are delighted to win your cute creatures.  It's funny how sometimes aloof tweens and teenagers can warm up to a handmade creature!”

The Early Literacy Reading Program (“1000 Books Before Kindergarten”) is offered year-round. When children and their parents/guardians complete the program, having read at least 1000 books, they earn a free book and knit woodland critter. There are 593 registered readers with approximately 20-25 completing the program each year.

About 20 knit/crocheted animals are given to participants in the MG21 program (alternative high school for at risk teens) quarterly book club which is a partnership with library staff.

Library staff tell us that the knit critters are always the most popular prizes given out in the quarterly drawings. “It is especially heartwarming to see some of the boys who often have a  tough or edgy appearance really warm up and get excited about the critters."

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Porchlight, Inc. (http://porchlightinc.org)

MKG donations: warm hats and scarves for homeless men

Porchlight provides emergency shelter, food, employment services, counseling, and affordable transitional and permanent housing to homeless people in the Dane County area through several innovative programs.  One Porchlight transitional housing program supports veterans through a collaboration with a Veterans Administration Grant.  Another, Safe Haven, provides temporary housing and support services for homeless men and women with mental illness. For many clients, Safe Haven is an entry point to the community’s resources and shelter system. Porchlight is seeking alternative funding for Safe Haven as federal funds will be discontinued in December 2017.   Another Porchlight service is an eviction prevention program that provides assistance to prevent homelessness during a short-term financial emergency for a household. All Porchlight services are designed to foster independence and the transition into permanent housing and employment.

Single men are provided temporary emergency shelter at Porchlight’s Drop-In Shelter and two overflow shelters. Guests receive two hot meals per day, personal hygiene supplies, access to laundry facilities, and outreach services. During the winter months, Porchlight serves an average of 160-180 men each night. 

A helping hand, not a handout. A second chance. A warm bed. Hope. Opportunity.

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Salvation Army Dane County (www.salvationarmydanecounty.org/

MKG donations: winter scarves, cowls, and slippers for women in the shelters and yarn for children in the After-School program to make hats on frames.

For over 126 years, the Madison Corps of the Salvation Army has offered spiritual ministry, social services, and youth programs without discrimination for thousands of Dane County residents annually.  They currently serve the most vulnerable members of our community through a wide range of programs, including extensive case management services.  While striving to provide compassionate care, a primary goal of all programs and services is to improve the life skills and circumstances of those served. 

Current programs include shelter for homeless families, shelter for homeless single women, emergency shelter for families and women, a transitional house (Holly House) for women, a food pantry, and medical and dental care for the homeless. In addition, the Salvation Army offers a variety of programs for children, such as an After-School Program for those in Kindergarten through 5th grade including mentoring and tutoring, beginner band, character building programs (ages 5-12 with separate programs for girls and boys), sports and recreation programs, and summer day camps. Day camp staff lead educational activities, games, arts and crafts projects, and field trips all around Dane County. Breakfast, lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner are provided each day.  For younger children, a Play and Learn program is offered. The Darbo Community Center serves as the base for many of these programs.

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Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, Inc. (www.secondharvestmadison.org)

MKG donations: proceeds from MKG’s Second Chance for Second Harvest sale of yarn in December and additional Community Project sales of needles, notions, patterns, and yarn at spring meetings. Sale proceeds in the 2016-2017 program year resulted in a total donation of  $13,691, providing 41,073 meals to the community.

Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin is a hunger-relief organization whose goal is to make sure everyone in southwestern Wisconsin has enough of the right kinds of food to live a happy and healthy life. They do that three ways:

  • Food distribution – distribution of millions of pounds of food each year through a network of partner agencies and programs.
  • Promotion of government programs - helping people in the community understand and apply for government programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), now called FoodShare in Wisconsin, formerly the food stamp program. Through FoodShare Outreach, thousands of people receive FoodShare benefits each year, providing millions of meals!
  • Promoting hunger awareness - building awareness of the thousands of people in southwestern Wisconsin who don't always know where their next meal will come from is the first step to ending hunger.

Second Harvest also operates 27 mobile pantries in 14 southwestern Wisconsin counties. Attendance for each mobile site ranges from 50 to more than 500 families per month, with each household receiving about 60 pounds of food.

Every dollar donated provides three meals.

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The River Food Pantry (www.riverfoodpantry.org

MKG donations: hats, mittens, and scarves for children and adults as well as other knit items (e.g., clothing for children and adults); toiletries in December

In 2000, volunteers from the Mad City Church were working with families in the Northport Drive area, providing school supplies, holiday gifts for children, and sharing a monthly meal.  In 2005, they established an emergency food pantry in the Northport Apartments.  By late 2005, it was evident that neighborhood needs were significant, so efforts expanded to build a permanent pantry serving the needs of the north side.  The River Food Pantry was established in remodeled space in early 2006. 

The website describes it best:  "The River Food Pantry is Dane County’s busiest food pantry, offering free groceries, meals, and clothing to anyone who comes for help. Located in a warehouse just off Northport Drive and Packers Avenue, The River is surrounded by low-income neighborhoods and subsidized senior housing—exactly where we’re needed the most. We also provide a mobile lunch program for children and teens in low income neighborhoods surrounding the food pantry. Nutritious packed lunches are distributed in the neighborhoods on weekends and other non-school days.

More than just meals, The River provides a warm and welcoming family atmosphere where everyone is treated with respect, encouraged to find the support they need, and given the opportunity to share what they can with others.

The River feeds more than 650 Dane County families per week, sharing 48 thousand pounds of food every seven days, or about 2 million pounds of food each year. Over $3.6 million in goods and services are distributed annually. We also serve 550+ hot meals each week and currently distribute 300 mobile packed lunches on each non-school day. 

In 2016, The River received 31,400 family visits. Approximately 39% of those served by The River are children and 20% are seniors. In 2016, the first year of the mobile lunch program, The River provided just over 10,000 packed lunches to children and teens."

Many of our members are familiar with the work of The River.  Founders Jenny and Andy Czerkas invite volunteers to participate in their work. 

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Wisconsin Department of Corrections

MKG donations: yarn

As part of restorative justice efforts, inmates in many WI Department of Corrections (DoC) facilities knit and crochet items for their local communities, shelters, schools, food pantries or local fundraisers.  Chaplains and Corrections staff have been most appreciative of yarn donations from MKG.  We have learned that guards in one facility had been watching YouTube videos to learn enough to teach more inmates to knit!

Almost 10 years ago, a Guild member working for DoC asked fellow members to donate yarn to be used in correctional facilities in the state.  Members responded in great form, donating lots of yarn. 

In 2011, there was a request for yarn from staff at Madison Area Urban Ministry (MUM) for their efforts with families of people who were incarcerated. 

Since that time, MKG members have provided yarn through MUM to prisoners at Taycheedah, Fox Lake, Oshkosh and Oak Hill Correctional facilities. 

More recently, we made a connection with a DoC staff member who takes yarn to Waupun, Green Bay, and Prairie du Chien.  New Lisbon and the women's section at the Wisconsin Resource Center at Oshkosh have since been added to the list of prisons that receive yarn donations.

From September 2016 through September 2017, our partners delivered 87 bags of yarn donated by Guild members for use by inmates in DoC facilities. 

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YWCA (www.ywcamadison.org)

MKG donations: dishcloths/washcloths

YWCA Madison is part of the national YWCA movement, one of the oldest and largest women's organizations in the nation.   To fulfill their mission, the YWCA advances race and gender equity to create a more inclusive community, helps people improve their financial situations through job training and transportation, and supports people in housing and shelter.

To help meet these goals, YWCA Madison works collaboratively with other community agencies: The Road Home Dane County, United Way of Dane County, Salvation Army, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS), UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence, and local congregations. YWCA Madison programs support people in housing and shelter:

  • The YWCA Madison downtown location offers affordable apartments for low-income, single women.
  • The Third Street program provides housing support for homeless, single-female-headed families with one or two children under the age of 4.
  • Empower Home provides safe, supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence who are homeless or in need of transitional housing.
  • The Rapid Rehousing and Family Stability program helps families move out of the shelter system or to avoid shelter living by providing short term case management and limited rental assistance.
  • The House-ability program serves homeless families who have at least one adult with a disability in the household.

Volunteers help provide safe programming for children whose parents use these services, while allowing their parents time to work on finding housing, employment and economic security.

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