Neighborhood Connection exists solely to help our community members support one another in times of hardship. We all have needs. Some you can see, most you cannot. Neighborhood Connection is a place where you will be welcomed and supported, with compassion and respect, regardless of your situation. Here you will be connected with a network of resources to help with programs and services, some that Neighborhood Connection will provide and others through our network of community partners. All of our programs and services are free to registered clients.

Come and connect with our staff, volunteers, donors, and partners who are your neighbors working to make our community stronger … one story at a time.

If you have an immediate need for services, please dial 2-1-1 to reach the United Way Community Information and Referral Program, or find their information online at https://211wisconsin.communityos.org/. The United Way operators have immediate contact information for many organizations, including Neighborhood Connection, and are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Eligibility and Registration

Neighborhood Connection’s programs and services are available to anyone living in the Waunakee Community School District or the Village of Dane, or households that have students attending any Waunakee school. Individuals or families may either come to us directly, or be referred to us by church groups, social workers, or other community organizations.

Registering for our services and programs is simple. Contact us to schedule a private registration appointment with Stacey Dudley, client and volunteer services manager, who will work with you to fill out registration forms, go through current policies and programs, and take you on a tour of our store.  Please bring photo identification and proof of residency (utility bill, lease, etc.) to registration, if possible.

We truly believe that everyone has gifts to give as well as needs, so you and your family members are also welcome and encouraged to volunteer at Neighborhood Connection as you are able. Prior to volunteering, we ask that you attend a client volunteer orientation. Please contact Stacey Dudley, client and volunteer services manager, at (608) 849-5740 or sdudley@waunakeenc.com to make arrangements to attend an orientation.

Store

Neighborhood Connection’s most prominent program is the free store where registered clients can obtain personal and household items such as clothing, kitchenware, home décor, toys, books, bedding and more. Clients can also receive certain limited-quantity items once a month such as laundry soap, toiletries, and diapers.

Clients may shop on any designated shopping day, which are typically: the first Monday from 10:00 AM – noon; the second Tuesday from 5:00-7:00 PM; the third Wednesday from 10:00 AM-noon and the fourth Thursday from 5:00-7:00 PM. Please check the calendar as dates and times can change due to holidays. If these shopping days are not convenient for you, special arrangements can be made to shop on another day and time.

Seniors are invited to “Seniors Shopping” once a month, which allows for more time and more assistance. Senior Shopping is held the first Friday of the month, following the first Monday, from 9:00am – 11:00am.

Case Management

Neighborhood Connection has a wealth of resource partners throughout the community, county, and state that can help with programs and services we do not currently provide. Our staff provide all registered clients a packet that includes a list of our current resource partners, and we notify clients of  new opportunities through the year. To confidentially discuss your unique needs or circumstances, please schedule an appointment with Stacey Dudley, client and volunteer services manager, at sdudley@waunakeenc.com or (608)849-5740.

English Group

In partnership with the Waunakee Community School District and the Waunakee Public Library, the Neighborhood Connection English Group is a free class hosted by volunteers to promote literacy with our community members. Group members represent diverse backgrounds, cultures, experiences, and communication skills, from just beginning to use English to advanced and comfortably immersed. Fall and spring sessions are provided annually.  To find upcoming dates and online resources, read more here. 

Build-a-Bed

Thanks to the generous donation of our community and a partnership with Waunakee Furniture ETC and Bed, Bath & Beyond, Neighborhood Connection is able to provide new beds and bedding to families who may not have anything to sleep on.

Vehicle Donations and Repairs

Neighborhood Connection occasionally receives donated vehicles.  We partner with local businesses to certify, repair, and clean the vehicles, which are then donated to registered families with urgent need. We also partner with organizations and donors to provide clients with help for unexpected vehicle repairs. The vehicle donation and repair program requires a separate application and proof of license, insurance, and income. Contact Stacey Dudley, client and volunteer services manager, at sdudley@waunakeenc.com or (608)849-5740 for more information.

Student Scholarship

Our Building a Stronger Community Scholarship is aimed at empowering students to achieve their educational goals while promoting service in the Waunakee community. We annually award up to two scholarships to applicants that meet the criteria to further their formal education in an accredited institution of higher learning. The scholarship grant awarded is a minimum of $500.00 per year, for a maximum of four years, with payments made directly to the educational institution.

Medication Lock Boxes

In collaboration with Waunakee Community Cares Coalition, Neighborhood Connection distributes free LockMed Lock Boxes to members of the community! Accessibility is the number one contributing factor to the misuse and abuse of medications. The Lock Box Initiative works toward making adults aware of the easy access to drugs and gives them the knowledge and tools to lock up prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

If you are interested in receiving a free LockMed Lock Box, either stop by Neighborhood Connection to pick one up, or print and mail this form to us.  Be sure to include your email address or phone number to be notified when the boxes are available for distribution.

Adopt-a-Family

Families, classrooms, churches, businesses, and other groups adopt registered families or seniors who benefit from a helping hand during the holidays. Participants are selected by Neighborhood Connection staff, and the number of families selected each year depends on the number of donors who register. Once matched with a client family, the donor group purchases items from their adopted family’s lists, wraps the items, and then brings them to Neighborhood Connection for distribution before Christmas. Donors and client families remain anonymous.

Childrens’ Holiday Shopping

One day each December, children of registered families can shop for free new gifts for their parents or guardians. Personal shoppers assist children with selecting and wrapping their gifts. Parents are invited to the Student Team room for refreshments while children shop. Registration for the Kids’ Holiday Shopping Event opens in November.

Holiday Meal

Neighborhood Connection provides a free holiday meal in December to nearly 200 families in the Waunakee area each year. The groceries delivered to each family provide the necessities for a delicious meal for 4-6 people and typically includes items such as ham, potatoes, vegetables, and dessert.  Registration for the holiday meal opens in November.

Neighbor-to-Neighbor Family Crisis Program

If your family is experiencing a short-term, unexpected crisis, the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program provides extra support and resources as you adjust to new circumstances. The Neighbor-to-Neighbor fund covers some, or all, of the immediate expenses a family is subject to and, most importantly, the funds will be deployed within a 24-hour period…during the time that you need access to money the most. A team of specially trained volunteers will then help your family to coordinate the extra services you may need as you respond to and recover from the crisis.