UPDATED 4/6/2020: Our COVID-19 Response

Dear Neighbors –

The health and safety of our clients, volunteers, and staff – and that of all our neighbors – is our top priority. Therefore, based on public health recommendations, Waunakee Neighborhood Connection will be changing our procedures until the state’s stay-at-home orders are lifted in order to do our part in slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Here is a summary of the changes:

  • We will suspend the acceptance of clothing and household good donations for our free store, though we will continue to serve clients with items that we have currently available. Should a need arise for something that we don’t have on hand, we’ll put the word out for specific donations.
  • Staff and key volunteers will be working from home unless there is a situation that requires us to meet a client, volunteer, or donor at our building

If you need assistance

Whether or not you are a current client, if you have any question or need during this time, please reach out and let us know – even if you’d simply like someone to talk to. We know that the events of the past few weeks and the uncertainty of how this will continue to develop is stressful for everyone and we will continue to be here for the community.

How to contact us

  • To leave a message on the office phone, call (608)849-5740. Staff members are checking messages remotely at least hourly Monday-Friday, 8:30 AM-5:00 PM.

·      To reach us quickly with an urgent need or question, call (608)535-9357. This a temporary direct line that we have set up that one of us will answer. You may get voicemail on this line if we are taking another call at the time, so leave a message and we will get back to you.

·       Email us with less urgent needs at wncteam@waunakeenc.com.

Facilitating community volunteerism

We will continue to facilitate community volunteerism with neighbors helping neighbors. If you are willing to be called upon to help, please learn more about this effort and register at https://conta.cc/2vZlasi.

Monetary donations

Over the coming weeks and months, we anticipate that our programs will adjust and shift to meet the community’s most urgent needs. This will likely result in unplanned expenses, both for our operations and to assist our clients directly. Donations to either of the following funds will make a tremendous positive difference in supporting your most vulnerable neighbors:

·       PULSE Fund – Supports the operation of our store, client programs, and case management

·      Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund – Provides direct financial assistance to clients experiencing a short-term hardship

Donations to these funds can be made at https://app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/WaunakeeNeighborhoodConnectio/donate.html

Neighborhood Connection Celebrates Anniversary with New Logo and Website


On February 14, 2020, Waunakee Neighborhood Connection turned 13 and is celebrated by introducing an updated logo and launching a new website. It was Valentine’s Day of 2007 when the organization’s founder, Genna Eaton, received approval from the IRS for its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, which seems fitting since Neighborhood Connection was created with so much love from, and for, the community.

The new logo incorporates the heart connecting two people, symbolizing the neighbor-to-neighbor approach that Neighborhood Connection takes to supporting the most vulnerable families in our community. The full name of the organization is now part of the logo, as opposed to only “WNC,” so that it will be more recognized and understood by those who may not be familiar with the acronym.

Along with the new logo, the organization has adopted a new tagline – “The heart of the community.” Neighborhood Connection’s board of directors felt that this phrase captures the essence of the vital work being done by the organization to both support families in need and create meaningful connection among neighbors through volunteerism and service together.

Neighborhood Connection’s updated website features new navigation and more concise content that should make it easier for visitors to the site to find what they are looking for. It also marks a change to a .org extension for the URL, which more clearly designates that Waunakee Neighborhood Connection is a nonprofit organization. The new website can be found at www.waunakeeneighborhoodconnection.org.

Staff and volunteers at Neighborhood Connection will be fully incorporating the new logo into the organization’s publications and materials over the next few weeks.

Christmas Meal Delivery

Waunakee Neighborhood Connection, in collaboration with Waunakee Intermediate School, Piggly Wiggly, and the Waunakee community, is proud to offer our annual Christmas grocery delivery FREE to individuals and families who are in need and would appreciate some extra help this Christmas. The meal includes a ham, ingredients for side dishes, and a pie to serve 4-6 people.

Register to receive a meal

We offer our annual Christmas dinner grocery delivery FREE to individuals, families, and seniors who live in the Waunakee School District or Town of Dane, are in financial need, and would appreciate some extra help this Christmas. To register to receive a meal, please call Waunakee Neighborhood Connection at (608)849-5740 or Register online here by Friday, December 13th.

Volunteer to deliver meals

Join us on the morning of Saturday, December 21st, from 10:30 am-noon as we deliver the meals to families. Volunteer shifts fill quickly, so please sign up soon! Register to deliver meals here!

Horrible Holiday Sweater Shuffle

Grab your family, friends, and favorite ugly holiday sweater and join us for the 6th annual Horrible Holiday Sweater Shuffle fun run/walk!

About This Event

The 6th annual Horrible Holiday Sweater Shuffle kicks off at The Lone Girl Brewing Company and takes you through the streets of Waunakee on a fun-filled Christmas excursion. Festivities include a pre-shuffle warm up, candy stations along the route, and a post-shuffle holiday party including awards for the best Horrible Holiday Sweaters. This family friendly event has something for ALL!

NEW for 2019! – We’ll have both the 5K fun/run walk AND a 1-mile family fun walk

Event Schedule

7:30-8:45 AM – Check in at The Lone Girl Brewing Company — have your photo taken on the Jingle Carpet; cash bar will be open

8:45 AM – Warm-up

9:00 AM – 5K Run & Walk Start

9:10 AM – 1 mile walk start

10:00 AM – Post-Shuffle Party at The Landing (upstairs at The Lone Girl)! We’ll present awards for individual, family, and team “most horrible” sweaters. The Lone Girl will have a Bloody Mary bar, hot cocoa, beer, wine, and cocktails, along with their NEW brunch 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)Register Now!

Packet and Apparel Pick-up

Pick up race numbers, sponsor coupons, and apparel on Friday, November 29th, from 4:30-7:30 PM at The Landing (upstairs at The Lone Girl). We’ll also have some horrible holiday sweaters available for purchase in case you don’t have one.

Race Route

The Horrible Holiday Sweater Shuffle takes place on city sidewalks and the paved paths in Waunakee. There is one moderate hill about 2 miles into the Shuffle with holiday 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.Event SponsorsClark Griswold Sponsors

Super Selfless Shuffler

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 November 29 or at event registration on November 30. You can also print the waiver and bring the signed copy(ies) with you to turn in.

Other questions? Visit our FAQ page for more information.


As we approach winter and the holidays, it can be especially difficult for families financially – heating bills are starting to kick in, kids have extra projects at school, an unexpected medical need arises, or the general cost of living rises. Your generosity will be a huge blessing to a family, relieving much of the burden by providing gifts they would not otherwise be able to afford. It will make a tremendous difference in the life of a grateful family right here in our community!

We invite individuals, families, organizations, and businesses to adopt a family this holiday season.

Here’s how the program works:

  1. Complete the online registration by Friday, Nov. 8th with your contact information and preferred family size. We recommend that you choose a family size (1,2,3, 4, 5+) based upon your desired financial commitment (the guideline* is to spend up to $100 per family member).
  2. Once we receive your confirmed family size, we will match you with a family and send their wish list to you. This will be completed by November 22nd so that you can take advantage of Thanksgiving week and Black Friday sales. Wishes generally include items such as the following: Coats, winter apparel, clothing, pajamas, undergarments, pillows, bedding, towels, boots, kitchen items, personal toiletries, DVDs, books, movie rentals, video game, gift card, toy, and 1-2 wishes for the family as a whole: board games, gas card, laundry soap, toiletries, cleaning supplies, kitchen item NOTE: We ask families to provide specific sizes, gender, and color to help you in selecting items 
  3. Purchase your gifts for the individual/family.
  4. Wrap all packages, labeling each package per the family list you received (i.e., 12-year old girl, mom, 4-year old boy, etc.).
  5. NEW this year – Deliver your gifts to the Adopt-a-Family distribution at the Waunakee Village Center, 333 S Madison Street, on Saturday, December 14th, between 9:00 am and noon at the Village Center. If you are not able to deliver the gifts during this time, please contact our office at (608)849-5740.

* We have the guideline to spend up to $100 per family member to keep the program as equitable among families as possible. Many of the children go to school together and adults know each other through work, church, and as neighbors,  so when one individual or family gets more than another, it can cause hurt feelings. If you, or your family/group, are wanting to be more generous, we recommend purchasing and donating gift cards to Waunakee Neighborhood Connection that can be given to families throughout the year as needs arise. Gift cards of $25 for stores such as Piggly Wiggly, Target, Wal-Mart, Fleet Farm, and gas stations are especially helpful. The cards can be dropped off along with your gifts on December 14th

Make Volunteering A Family Activity!

If giving back and raising compassionate children are priorities for your family, we have a new way for you to do so right here in your community. Starting this summer, Waunakee Neighborhood Connection will be offering monthly volunteer opportunities that are appropriate for parents and their children to do together.Each month’s activities will have a different theme that will correspond with events happening at Neighborhood Connection, National Days of Service, and holidays that have a service component.Sign up now to receive the monthly e-newsletter that will highlight not only the family volunteer activities happening at Neighborhood Connection, but also other opportunities happening in the community and things you can do at home to make a positive difference as a family.

Our Mission, Vision, and Values

Our Vision : We envision a thriving community where all are valued

Our Mission: Waunakee Neighborhood Connection provides programs and resources that engage neighbors to support and empower one another

Our Values:

  • Trust
  • Empowerment
  • Respect
  • Compassion
  • Community engagement
  • Equity