Client Newsletter | January 2021
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Happy New Year! We are all looking forward to 2021 and some much-needed change. We want to offer some hope amidst the struggle this past year.

We are so lucky to be an organization powered by volunteerism. We know that volunteering allows us to give to others, feel connected AND experience community in a special way. We want to remind all of you that you have an open invitation to volunteer with us as one of several options we will have in this new year to connect with one another.

We welcome a new year along with all of you and look forward to making it a great one! 
Shopping Hours and Procedures for January
Our shopping plan for January is to allow clients to come in to shop any time during our open hours on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday from 9:00 AM-4:00 PM and the 4th Saturday, January 23rd, from 9:00 AM-2:00 PM. We will limit the number of people allowed in the store, so you must make an appointment online at or by calling us at (608)849-5740 prior to coming to shop.
We will continue to follow all COVID safety protocols that we have had in place.

In February, we plan to add a weekly evening shopping time to our schedule. Please complete a quick, one-question survey to let us know which evening would work best for you so that we can select the one that will work for the most people possible. If you cannot take the online survey, please let Stacey know your preference.
Waunakee Food Pantry Hours for January

The Waunakee Food Pantry will be open from 9:30 AM-12:00 PM on Saturday, January 16th, and Wednesday, January 27th. To access the food pantry services, be sure to complete a Pre-Order Form and drop it in the WFP drop box at 806H S Division St at least one day prior to the pick-up day. 
Does Your Child Need a Desk?

We have a new source for desks for kids that are made by volunteers in the community. The desks are made in different sizes to fit the child and include a fun bouncy sitting ball. If you would like to be considered to receive one, please contact Stacey and let her know. 
Let's Get Connected!

Many of us have talked about how difficult and lonely this time has felt. We want to offer a few ideas and ways to connect with others.

In April, we created an opportunity where volunteers made friendly calls to anyone feeling lonely, anxious, or in need of connection. We have heard from many of you that this was helpful and some of you are still in touch! We are offering this program again. If you would like to be matched with a volunteer, please contact Stacey.
We will also be arranging some social groups that will be led by you! Contact Stacey if participating would interest you and let her know what you would like the topic of connection to be. Some ideas are home schooling, sharing recipes on a budget, mental health support and so on.

Also, you are invited to come in and volunteer as an opportunity to connect and feel less isolated. Please contact Stacey for a volunteer application and to start the process of volunteering! 
Are You Behind on Rent or Utility Bills?

We know that these past few months have been difficult for many people due to layoffs and decreased hours related to the pandemic. We would like to get an idea about the number of people who are at risk of eviction and/or at utility shut-off when the moratoriums end. If you are in this situation, please complete this brief, anonymous survey. This will help us tremendously in planning and collaboration so that we can best help those in our community who are struggling. For us to do this effectively we need to fully understand the scope of the issue, so your input is vital!

Please also know that if you are struggling to pay monthly bills, we encourage you to have a conversation with Stacey as she may be able to refer to resources that can help.
Community Resources

Mental Health Support
Here are some great resources from Melissa Olsen at Psychotherapy Center of Waunakee to support your mental health needs:

Social Isolation Resources
If you are feeling lonely or isolated, the Area Agency on Aging has added on to the wonderful list of resources we included in last newsletter. Despite that this was created with older adults in mind, there is something here for everyone.

Dane County Public Health Department
Dane County offers some excellent resources to support your mental health, questions about financial assistance, food security, COVID-related questions and transportation.

National Alliance for Mental Illness Support Groups
NAMI offers free support groups to anyone looking for mental health support during this difficult time.

Other tips: Connect, connect, connect. Check in on friends and neighbors who may be isolated. Schedule phone calls with family and friends – make one each day so you have something to look forward to. Get outside and take a walk. Winter Vitamin D deficiency is a real thing in Wisconsin so going outside is a great way to get some! Take up a hobby or learn something new!
January Holidays

Happy Three Kings Day!

January 6th is Three Kings Day, known in Spanish as el Día de los Reyes Magos or El Día de Reyes. This is Epiphany on the church calendar, the 12th day after Christmas (sometimes referred to as Twelfth Night), when Christians commemorate the arrival of the Magi or "Wise Men" who arrived bearing gifts for the Christ Child.

In the days preceding Three Kings Day, Mexican children write letters to the three kings requesting a toy or gift that they would like to receive. Sometimes the letters are placed in helium-filled balloons and released, so the requests reach the kings through the air. On the night of January 5th, the figures of the Wise Men are placed in the Nacimiento or nativity scene. Traditionally children would leave out their shoes with a bit of hay in them to feed the animals of the Magi (they are often shown with a camel and sometimes also with an elephant). When the children would wake up in the morning, their gifts appeared in place of the hay. Nowadays, like Santa Claus, the Kings tend to place their gifts under the Christmas tree if the family has one up, or near the nativity scene.

On Three Kings Day it is customary for families and friends to gather to drink hot chocolate or atole (a warm, thick, usually corn-based drink) and eat Rosca de Reyes, a sweet bread shaped like a wreath, with candied fruit on top, and a figurine of a baby Jesus baked inside. The person who finds the figurine is expected to host a party on Día de la Candelaria (Candlemas), celebrated on February 2nd, when tamales are customarily served.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Monday, January 18th is MLK Jr. Day, an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Due to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, it is observed on the third Monday of January each year although King's birthday is January 15th.

King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law. The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983 and it was first observed three years later. At first, some states resisted observing the holiday as such, giving it alternative names or combining it with other holidays. It was officially observed in all 50 states for the first time in 2000.

MLK Day is also a national Day of Service, so make it a “day on, not a day off” by volunteering in the community!
Community Events in Waunakee
Snowy Day Fun at the Farm

January 24th from 1:00-3:00 PM at the Schumacher Farm Park there will be sledding, skiing and more. This is a FREE event. 
New Client Registration

Anyone interested in registering to receive Waunakee Neighborhood Connection's services can contact Stacey Dudley, client and volunteeer services manager, at or (608) 849-5740 to set up an appointment.