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Friends of the State Street Family

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State Street from above.

Photo by @thecolorfulkid

One of the best parts about Madison is its strong sense of community, and one of the worst parts is the winter. At the intersection of these things, however, is an opportunity. Let’s talk about how to help members of the community who need extra support during Wisconsin’s cold weather months by becoming Friends of the State Street Family.

This organization aims to develop trust and foster a relationship to become — you guessed it — a friend to those in need. The ultimate goal is to help these people on their path to finding permanent housing, sobriety support, counseling + medical or mental health care.

Instead of the organization receiving general items from the community, this donation-based charity directs Madisonians to an Amazon wishlist that compiles specific goods and apparel needed by the community. This method eliminates the aggregation of unneeded items and focuses on the most prominent needs for comfort + survival.

A few items currently on the wishlist include:

  • 🔌 Electric blankets | As a resource for car campers or those with access to electricity overnight, these can be a great comfort.
  • 🥨 Single-serve food items | Having smaller, sealed portions of food is more practical for those without access to ample food storage.
  • 🍽️ Dishes + flatware | Basics like paper plates + paper bags are always of great value.
  • ☀️ Sunshades | This item works well for both protection + privacy.
  • 💳 Gift cards for local food spots | Give a friend of State Street the gift of a meal.

Looking in to get involved in a more hands-on way? The organization hosts group volunteer nights where Madisonians can get together to assemble care packages + meal kits to help State Street’s friends.

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