Donate today to make the holidays – and beyond – brighter for Area Families!

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection’s annual holiday and year-round programs are vital for the families and seniors we serve in the greater Waunakee area who are in need of assistance. We have added more than 85 families this year and are now serving 360+ households in the community.

Our Christmas meal and Holiday Wishes events help ensure that everyone in our community has a happy holiday. Your gift can also extend the warmth of the holiday season throughout the year with ongoing programs that provide clothing and household necessities along with individualized support services that make it possible for neighbors in need to move from difficult times to thriving.

With a donation of $40, you can provide a family of 4-6 with the groceries for a wonderful meal.    Larger gifts will support multiple families with a holiday meal and year-round programs that make Waunakee a stronger and more connected community.

To donate, either mail a check with a donation form or give online. We appreciate you investing in the strength of our community this holiday season!

Holiday Wishes Gift Drop-Off & Distribution: December 16-17

We are thrilled to have been able to match 135 Waunakee-area families with donors who will help fulfill their holiday wish list!

Wish lists have been sent to all donors along with the program instructions. If you signed up to be a donor and did not receive an email with the list of your assigned family, please contact us at or (608)849-5740.

Donors should be sure to sign up for a time to drop off their gifts on Friday, December 16th or Saturday, December 17th at the Waunakee Village Center.

Clients who were successfully matched were notified via email or text and can sign up for a time to pick up their gifts on Saturday, December 17th at the Waunakee Village Center.

Kendra Gives Back for Waunakee Neighborhood Connection!

Tuesday, November 15th

4:00-8:00 PM

Kendra Scott Hilldale | 470 N Midvale Blvd

Or shop online

Get an early start on holiday shopping – or simply treat yourself! Kendra Scott will donate 20% of all sales during this event to Waunakee Neighborhood Connection. Browse the store, enjoy some champagne and small bites, and make a purchase that will directly benefit our community.

Can’t join us in person? Shop online November 15-16 at and use the code GIVEBACK-CZXCC at checkout. 

Holiday Wishes Program – Donor Registration Now Open

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection has begun donor registration for its Holiday Wishes program (formerly Adopt-a-Family). The holidays and winter season can be especially difficult for low income households. As the community pulls together to make the season bright for everyone, the generosity of donors can make a tremendous difference in the lives of families here in Waunakee that are facing financial hardship.

Through the Holiday Wishes program, donors are matched with a specific family and receive the family’s holiday wish list to help fulfill. Donors can choose how large of a family they would like to assist, and the general guideline is that they spend no more than $100 for each member of the household with which they’ve been matched.

The collection and distribution of gifts will take place on December 16th and 17th at the Waunakee Village Center.

Individuals, families, organizations, and businesses are invited to participate as donors. Those who would like to be matched with a family are asked to register by November 4th. For more information about the program and to register, visit .

“As in past years, the number of families we serve continues to grow and now stands at over 350,” said Lisa Humenik, executive director. “It is so heart-warming to have members of the community come together to support each other and ease the financial stress that many families experience during the holidays.”

For more information about Neighborhood Connection’s holiday and ongoing programs and services, visit their website at

Clients wishing to register for our holiday programs can find the information at

Got Coats? Winter Coat & Accessory Drive Now Through October 17

With the days getting shorter and cooler as we head into fall, it will soon be time for winter gear. From October 1-17, Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is collecting new and gently used winter coats, snow pants, boots, gloves, scarves, and hats for all ages in preparation for its winter coat and accessory distribution on October 21-22. The distribution will take place at Peace Lutheran Church.

“With nearly 1200 individuals of all ages being served by WNC, many of whom are new to midwest winters, the need for warm outerwear is tremendous,” said Helyn Luisi-Mills, director of client services. “This collection drive and event will allow us to ensure that everyone in our program has what they need to stay warm this winter.”

Winter coats and accessories can be dropped of at Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, 208 S Century Avenue, anytime during its open hours. There is also a collection bin at Prairie Elementary School and items will be collected at Waunakee High School’s last regular season home football game on Friday, October 7.

Individuals or families in need of winter coats and accessories or anyone interested in volunteering for the distribution event should contact Waunakee Neighborhood Connection at or (608)849-5740.

Join us for the Great Pumpkin Smash Dash!

Grab your family, friends, and favorite costume and join us on Saturday, October 15th for our 7th fun run/walk – now with a Halloween theme!

The Great Pumpkin Smash Dash kicks off at The Lone Girl Brewing Company and takes you through the streets of Waunakee on a Halloween excursion full of tricks and treats! Festivities include a pre-shuffle warm up, treat stations along the route, and a post-shuffle Halloween party including awards for the best costume, top fundraisers, and a pumpkin smash. This family friendly event has something for ALL!

Again for 2022! – We’ll have both the 5K fun/run walk AND a 1-mile family fun walk.

Online registration will be available until October 13th and onsite, but register by 2:00 PM on Friday, October 1st to ensure that you receive your t-shirt at the packet pick-up.

Event Schedule

7:30-8:45 AM – Check in at The Lone Girl Brewing Company — have your photo taken with your group and other friends; cash bar will be open

8:45 AM – Warm-up

9:00 AM – 5K Run & Walk Start

9:05 AM – 1 mile walk start

10:00 AM – Post-Shuffle Party inside the Lone Girl and pumpkin smash on the rooftop! We’ll present awards for individual, family, and team costumes and for the top fundraisers. The Lone Girl will have hot cocoa, beer, wine, and cocktails, along with items from their menu available for purchase. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to Waunakee Neighborhood Connection.

Registration – Includes event t-shirt this year!

$35.00 Adults

$30.00 Youth (up to age 12)

Packet and Apparel Pick-up

Pick up race numbers, sponsor coupons, and apparel on Friday, October 14th from 2:00-7:00 PM at Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, 208 S Century Avenue, Waunakee.

Race Route

The Great Pumpkin Smash Dash takes place on city sidewalks and the paved paths in Waunakee. There is one moderate hill about 2 miles into the route with trick-or-treat candy stations along the way to keep you going! The event starts and finishes at The Lone Girl.

About Waunakee Neighborhood Connection

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is a nonprofit social service agency that provides comprehensive programs, services, and case management to families in the Waunakee area who are experiencing financial hardships. It also provides numerous opportunities to Waunakee residents of all ages to get involved in volunteer service that makes a positive difference right here in our community! Visit our website to learn more.

Waiver and Release of Liability

A waiver will be required for each participant and will be available to sign at the Packet & Apparel Pick-up on October 14 or at event registration on October 15. You can also print the waiver and bring the signed copy(ies) with you to turn in.

Other questions? Contact us at or (608)849-5740.

Are You Looking for a Way to Make a Positive Difference in Waunakee? Volunteer with Neighborhood Connection!

Here at Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, we continue to experience tremendous growth in the number of clients we are serving. We’ve now reached a milestone of having more than 360 registered households ( 1200+ individuals). To better serve our client families, we extended our hours to five days a week. With this growth comes opportunity and, in our case, that means new volunteer opportunities!

All of our programs and services are powered by volunteerism. With our “neighbors helping neighbors” approach to providing support to those in need and to addressing challenges in the community, we have a variety of ways to get involved that can match your interests, skills, goals, and schedule. Your commitment can range from helping with one-time events or projects to taking on a role that involves monthly or weekly shifts. 

Want to learn more? Visit our Volunteer page for more information about the opportunities we currently have available and how to get started — and feel free to contact us if you have an interest that you don’t see listed that you’d like to explore.

We look forward to welcoming you to the team!


It’s Time to Fill the Bus with School Supplies!

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection kicked off the annual Fill the Bus school supply drive on July 25th. The drive will last through Thursday, August 13th and will provide needed school supplies for students in the Waunakee School District whose families may have difficulty affording them.

New school supplies* can be dropped off in the Lamers school bus parked in the Waunakee Neighborhood Connection parking lot at 208 S Century Avenue.

Most needed supplies this year include:

• Backpacks for all ages… especially larger ones suitable for middle school and high school students
• Composition notebooks…wide lined, solid colors or marbled only, no designs please
• Pencil pouches… with 3 holes to fit in a binder
• Accordion folders
• Binder dividers… 8 tabs
• Crayons… 48 count
• Colored pencils… 12 count
• Set of colorful pens
• Markers
• Erasers… basic, pink rectangular erasers, no pencil tops needed

Families needing school supplies should contact their child’s school to make arrangements to receive them.

For more ideas about needed supplies, visit the school supply lists on the school district’s website.

* We are collecting new school supplies only for this drive with the exception of calculators which may be gently used and in good working condition.

Annual “Fill the Bus” School Supply Drive Through August 13th

Please join Waunakee Neighborhood Connection in helping students in the Waunakee Community School District whose families may have difficulty affording school supplies this year. Now through Thursday, August 13th, donations of new school supplies can be dropped off in the yellow Lamers school bus in the Neighborhood Connection parking lot at 208 S Century Avenue in Waunakee.

Last year, the “Fill the Bus” program provided supplies for more than 170 students. It is anticipated that the need will be even greater this year due to the rising cost of school supplies and the increasing number of students in the schools.

The most needed items this year include backpacks for all ages, especially larger ones suitable for middle school and high school students; composition notebooks that are wide lined, solid colors or marbled only, no designs please; pencil pouches with 3 holes to fit in a binder; accordion folders; 8-tab binder dividers; 48 count crayons; 12 count colored pencils; sets of colorful pens; markers; and pink rectangular erasers.

Monetary donations are also accepted and can be made online at or by mailing a check to Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, 208 S Century Avenue, Waunakee, WI 53597. These donations will be used to purchase any supplies that are needed beyond what is collected during the drive. Supplies that are collected will be distributed to students during school registration in August. Families in need of supplies should contact their child’s school to request them.

Everyone is invited to Neighborhood Nights!

Have you driven down Century Avenue and seen the WNC sign and thought, “what is that place?” Or maybe you’ve dropped off donations and wondered what happens with them next? Our upcoming Neighborhood Nights will give you the chance to find out!

Neighborhood Nights are a great opportunity to learn more about how Neighborhood Connection engages our community in supporting and empowering one another, and about how you can be a part of our “neighbors helping neighbors” approach. Now in our 15th year as a charitable nonprofit organization, Neighborhood Connection provides numerous free needs-based programs and services for neighbors experiencing financial hardships, and volunteer opportunities that result in thousands of local lives touched each year. 

Drop in with your family on Neighborhood Nights for a self-guided tour, learn about client programs and volunteer opportunities, and connect with others who live in your neighborhood! We’ll be serving ice pops and our Student Team will lead supervised activities for kids ages 3-12.

While we encourage neighbors to attend the night designated for your neighborhood so that you can meet and mingle with folks who live nearby, all are welcome to attend whichever event best fits your schedule. All Neighborhood Nights will go from 5:00-7:00 PM.

Thursday, July 21

  • Westbridge
  • Meadowbrook
  • Six Mile Creek
  • Pleasant View Heights
  • Capitol Estates
  • Waunakee Heights
  • Northridge Estates
  • Dane
  • Vienna

Thursday, August 4

  • Westview Meadows
  • Centennial Heights
  • Dormal Heights
  • Country Aire
  • Original Plat/Downtown
  • Springfield

Thursday, August 18

  • Southbridge
  • Kilkenny Farms
  • Castle Crest
  • Castle Creek/Woodland Area
  • Steeplechase

Thursday, September 8

  • Carriage Ridge/Tuscany
  • Savannah Village
  • Arboretum Village
  • Heritage Hills
  • Westport
  • Bishops Bay