The Evjue Foundation has allocated a $15,000 grant in support of Badger Volunteers, a semester-long program that pairs teams of UW–Madison students with community organizations to volunteer one to four hours each week.
The grant will cover a portion of the roundtrip costs of transportation options for students using a combination of ZipCar, Fleet, Green and Union Cab and Lyft.
Students often will need transportation support to get to and from their volunteer sites and with community partners spread across Madison, those without access to a vehicle are limited to the bus system says Ray Mielke, the Morgridge Center’s transportation intern.
Throughout the years, it has been reported that 85% of students would not be able to get to their volunteer site without transportation support.
“By providing free transportation to volunteers whose sites are more than a 35-minute bus ride away, the transportation options program allows students to volunteer in the community without worrying about how they’re going to get there,” Mielke says.
Transportation options facilitate and support student engagement with disadvantaged segments of the community, enabling students to advance community-identified priorities.
Some examples include: tracking eviction trends through The Tenant Resource Center and supporting the health of the planet by gathering information on salt reduction successes and barriers for Friends of Lake Wingra
Since 2008, Badger Volunteers have contributed over 260,000 hours of service to the community with an average of 600 students involved each semester.
“The Evjue Foundation grant will allow the transportation options program to continue supporting hundreds of students per semester,” Mielke says.
The (Bill) Evjue Foundation has donated more than $60 million to many organizations, including several million to UW–Madison. The foundation helped build Monona Terrace, the Madison Children’s Museum, the United Way building and Olbrich Gardens.
It contributed to Camp Randall renovations and supported hundreds of area nonprofits. The Evjue Foundation also has helped fund the Wisconsin Idea Seminar each year since its inception in 1985.