Transportation has always been a significant barrier to UW-Madison student volunteer work and involvement in the Madison community. But a generous grant from the Evjue Foundation last week just made volunteering much more accessible for UW-Madison students.
The incredible $11,000 gift will help students in the Badger Volunteers program access volunteer sites throughout the city via bicycle, car share and cab services over the following year.
“We cannot thank the Evjue Foundation enough for again supporting our Badger Volunteers program this year,” Morgridge Center for Public Service Director Kathy Cramer said. “Their continued generosity allows hundreds of UW-Madison students to connect with the Madison community in meaningful ways.”
Currently, close to 1,500 UW-Madison students participate in Badger Volunteers every year, making it the largest volunteer program on campus. The program is unique in that students sign up with a team of fellow students to volunteer at the same site, at the same time, on the same day, every week for an entire semester. This model builds meaningful relationships between students and community partners.
Volunteers engage with the community is a diverse range of roles, including working with students in public school outdoor classrooms and gardens, leading after-school programs for kids at neighborhood community centers and sorting and displaying food for distribution to families at local food pantries.
Currently, the Badger Volunteers program is at capacity due to funding.
“We’ve actually had a waiting list the last few semesters of students who want to be part of the program,” Badger Volunteers Director Steph Harrill said. “This grant will allow more students than ever before to take part in Badger Volunteers.”
Badger Volunteers have access to the Transportation Options program, launched last year by the Morgridge Center for Public Service in partnership with WE Conserve. Through this program, volunteers are encouraged to make intentional, sustainable transportation options utilizing cab, car share, bicycle, bus and walking.
“Without the generous support of the Evjue Foundation and other local donors, we simply wouldn’t be able to offer transportation for our Badger Volunteers,” Harrill said. “This would significantly limit the scope of the program and the number of students participating.”
The grant is part of more than $1.4 million distributed this year to 86 area nonprofits and 27 UW-Madison programs by the Evjue Foundation.
The Evjue Foundation is the charitable arm of Madison-based The Captial Times Co. and named for the Capital Times longtime editor and publisher, William T. Evjue.