Giving Back and Giving Locally

Giving Tuesday is today, Dec. 1, and it reminds me that South Milwaukeeans always step up to help those in need — especially around Christmas, especially during the pandemic.

Don’t know where to start? Here are opportunities to give back locally.

  • Of course, I always turn to South Milwaukee Human Concerns, and they are serving more people than ever — sponsoring more than 700 children this Christmas alone, Executive Director Deb DeBoer tells me. She said they can especially use gift cards for holiday gifts for teenagers from places like GameStop, Walmart and McDonald’s, but please consider giving money, too. I know they can use it not only during the holiday season, but all year long. And why not give your time?
  • Get behind the South Milwaukee Industrial Museum, which opens as part of the Bucyrus Club next summer. Details and links to give can be found here.
  • “We serve.” That’s our motto as South Milwaukee Lions. They can use your support throughout the year, financial and in volunteer power, to in turn give back to local organizations in need.
  • Want to help the South Milwaukee Police Department? Support DARE. From Chief Jessup: “DARE is the largest, most recognized anti-drug and violence program in the world and is taught by specially trained police officers. Our officers go into the South Milwaukee elementary school classrooms to teach a series of one hour lessons designed to help young students cope with some serious risks. The topics include: learning the harmful effects of drugs, tobacco and alcohol, strategies for resisting peer pressure, and the damaging impact of bullying.  Any donations to the program go toward classroom supplies and graduation certificates.  If interested in donating, please contact Officer Jim McLean at”
  • The South Milwaukee Fire Department can use support for its in-school fire safety programs, and other public education efforts. Contact Chief Knitter ( to see how you can help.
  • South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. Support the terrific performing arts in South Milwaukee, especially during the pandemic, with audience size and shows limited. Consider donating in person at one of the upcoming socially distanced holiday shows coming to the PAC. This Saturday, Studio K presents “Flamenco Nutracker,” and the South Milwaukee High School Theatre Company presents a radio show version of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on Dec. 11-12. Details here.
  • Speaking of the South Milwaukee High School Theater Company, I’m a big fan, and they can use you help. They’ve done really creative work during the pandemic.
  • Help the South Milwaukee Historical Society preserve our proud past, for our promising future.
  • Want to support classroom and other projects in our local schools? Start with South Milwaukee Legacy.
  • Or maybe help Friends of the Mill Pond and Oak Creek Watercourse or Friends of Grant Park. They do so much work to support our local parks, and they can use your volunteerism and donations.
  • And how about the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network? They are the nonprofit that will play a major role in bringing the Oak Creek Watershed plan to life by securing funding for and leading various watershed restoration projects.

Did I miss any? I’m sure I did. Send your favorite local charities along!

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