Building a Stronger Community… One Story at a Time.
Our Mission: Waunakee Neighborhood Connection (WNC) educates and connects those in need with neighbors and resources to improve lives and Build a Stronger Community... One Story at a Time.
Our Vision: To improve the lives of our neighbors by strengthening and engaging the whole community through compassion, purpose, and sharing of resources.
Once upon a time a woman saw a need. A single mom was asking for help to find a safe home for herself and her two boys. Children were walking to school without warm winter coats. Another mom was undergoing intense medical treatment, limiting her ability to care for her family and herself.
In 2003, when Founder Genna observed these needs, she organized an effort to meet those requests, by reaching out to her community neighbors. The mission of helping neighbors was embraced by the community. Before long, volunteers came forward and step by step developed a process of helping neighbors - first, through the schools and then by partnering with Dane County Social Worker, Bob Blankenhagen. From there, it grew quickly. Programs were developed based on the needs observed. Next steps included obtaining a space, formalizing the organization, creating a Board of Directors, coordinating efforts with other area resources and developing and cultivating community partners including schools, churches, businesses, individual families and other service organizations.
Over the course of 15 short years, WNC has evolved into a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving hundreds of families/thousands of individuals and store visits annually. WNC provides dozens of free need-based programs and services, including volunteer opportunities accumulating thousands of volunteer hours each year.
For 15 years, Genna has selflessly organized an effort to make a difference in thousands of peoples' lives by connecting a community who has embraced a simple mission - to Serve!
While no formal education in the nonprofit world (um, German and Political Science Major), this energetic woman does not take no for an answer - for anything - EVER!
Fostering relationships with businesses, schools, resource partners, and families is at the core of Genna's vision.
Bonita, as she is affectionately called, is honored to be part of a big family who have met with some trying times. And after all, as she always says, 'We all have needs - just various levels of needs.'
Genna spearheaded a $1,000,000 Capital Campaign which resulted in a permanent, debt free, sustainable organization for years to come - WOW, what a legacy!
Depending on the day her middle name is Donate, Connect, or Squirrel - and sometimes it's all three!