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La Crosse County Emergency Response Fund activated in response to COVID-19. More details here.

Current Community Needs Wish List

Local nonprofit organizations can submit a request for funding of special projects in this online NPO Wish List. The current ‘wishes’ are listed below.

If you’re interested in supporting one of these worthy causes, please give us a call at (608) 782-3223.

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Amount requested: $630

Spence Elementary School PTO – Garden

Spence Elementary School Garden is in need of a wheelchair accessible concrete pathway for its main entry/exit and central path through the garden. Our garden was established in 2017 and serves as an outdoor classroom and environmental learning space for the entire student population of the school. The original pathway installed was that of crushed limestone, which has since proven to be a challenge for our students in wheelchairs to navigate. With its uneven structure and lack of necessary slope at the entrance/exit to the garden, along with no smooth wheelchair access for our raised garden beds, students in wheelchairs find it very difficult to maneuver themselves within this outdoor classroom space. The School District of La Crosse has offered their Buildings And Grounds Department to do the labor portion of this project as a cost savings to us, but we are still responsible for the materials needed to complete the pathway. The total cost of the materials needed for this project are $630; to include all that is necessary from the framing boards to the concrete supplies. We appreciate any and all financial assistance towards accomplishing this most necessary project. Thank you in advance for your consideration and your willingness to contribute to this most essential cause of connecting children to the natural world through outdoor learning.

Submitted: 7/9/20

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Amount requested: $2,500

Friends of the Coulee Region Retired and Senior Volunteer Program Inc (Coulee Region RSVP)

The Handyman Program provides the services necessary to enhance the quality of life for limited-income senior homeowners age 55 and older residing in La Crosse County. The goal of the program is to help seniors live safely and independently in their own homes, allowing them to continue to be a viable part of the community. The homeowner is asked to purchase the item(s) that need fixing, many times our handymen are using local resources such as Restore to assist them in saving money. Typically, there are about half of these homeowners who can not afford the item and we pick up the cost for them. The cost of labor is always free, as our skilled volunteer handymen and women donate their time.
Below are some examples:
• Repair minor electrical/ plumbing problems, repair or replace door handles or deadbolts, replace thermostats/ furnace filter, install grab bars & non-flip surfaces in bathroom, install/remove air conditioners, install/replace batteries in a smoke detector, change light bulbs & repair stair treads. This list is representative, not exhaustive. We may do minor repairs not on the list, depending on what is needed. We would like to use some of the fund to purchase gift cards for our Handyman to the following stores: Ace Hardware, Home Depot and Menards. They would be able to purchase items for those individuals who cannot afford the item needed to be fixed. We also would want the ability for them to purchase items that need replacement from their personal tools.

Submitted: 7/9/20


Amount requested: $2,500

La Crosse Public Education Foundation

LPEF is seeking donations towards purchasing books for all of the third grade classroom libraries in the School District of La Crosse. Over $35,000 has been collected so far to purchase books for the elementary school classrooms, with only third grade left to fund and then this project is complete. Last year 27 fifth grade classrooms each received 67 books, serving over 450 students!! Those kids were so excited to open the boxes of books and pick the ones they wanted to read first. Share your love of reading with hundreds of third grade students, and give them the gift of new adventures, knowledge, and curiosity about the people and world around them.

Submitted: 6/23/2020


Amount requested: $2,500

Downtown Neighborhood Association

The Downtown Neighborhood Association is revitalizing Burns Park, La Crosse’s oldest park located at 7th & Main, in partnership with the City of La Crosse Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department. Ground will break in early summer 2020 with a project completion goal of fall 2020.

Currently, we have raised roughly $475,000 of our estimated $504,000 project. In an effort to fully realize our vision for the park, we have launched a fundraiser in partnership with Park Bank. Park Bank has generously offered to match all individual donations up to $250 for a total matching opportunity of $15,000.

We are excited to see Burns Park reinvigorated as a modern village square. Imagine a park filled with children laughing during storytime, friends enjoying outdoor music and art, neighbors meeting up for a picnic or to catch an outdoor movie. Whether its fitness classes or book clubs, lunch breaks or play dates, Burns Park will be full of new life and new energy.

Your donation will support the installation of a shaded programming space, a thoughtful playscape for children, community chess tables, and native plantings. Furthermore, your support will make it possible for our community partners, such as the La Crosse Public Library, Three Rivers House, and La Crosse Parks & Recreation, among others, to host unique community programming.

We hope you will help us create a space where everyone in our diverse community will feel welcome.

Submitted: 5/14/2020


Amount requested: $400

Heart2Heart Pet Lifeline, Inc.

Recognizing the healing power of companion animals, Heart2Heart Pet Lifeline’s mission is to keep pets out of shelters and in loving homes by providing financial help for veterinary care. We serve income eligible pet owners in La Crosse County by providing grants averaging $400 per person. Most applicants are referred by a veterinarian or an animal shelter. Census and pet ownership estimates show that 3200 La Crosse County households with pets live in poverty.

If your life has been made brighter by a companion animal, you know how much pets give us: love, laughter, better health. The most careful and caring pet owner can face financial hardships. When pet owners cannot afford vet expenses, they see two choices: surrender their pet to already crowded rescues or keep their beloved animal at home, where the animal may suffer and pay the cost with poor health. We offer an alternative that helps the pet, the family and our animal welfare community.

Your donation helps us make the world a better place, one pet at a time.

Submitted: 4/7/2020


All Abilities Trane Park Project

To build the region’s first all abilities park; specially designed to bring together children, families, and loved ones of all ages and ability levels to enjoy the many benefits of outdoor play and recreation.

For an individual with a physical challenge, finding a park or playground that can be at least partially accommodating has become easier in recent years. However, for an individual with cognitive, sensory or other physical challenges, there remains no park in the state of Wisconsin designed to meet their specific needs.

This population is significant – an estimated 12,190 people over the age of 5 have a disability in La Crosse County. That is 12% of the population.

Children and adults with special needs benefit from an enclosed play environment where they can safely explore and play with others of varied abilities. The All Abilities Trane Park Project will be designed to be fun and accessible; a community within a community that can bring together individuals of all ages – from toddlers to seniors – and all abilities to experience the simple, everyday joy of outside play.

Submitted: 3/10/2020


Amount requested: $50-$500

La Crosse SOUP

SOUP is a microgranting dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in La Crosse. La Crosse SOUP’s mission is to promote community-based development through crowdfunding, creativity, collaboration, trust and fun. We value community, creativity, collaboration, change, trust and fun. Gifts support creative projects chosen by receiving the most votes at La Crosse SOUP events.  Past projects include: Showing Up for Racial Justice Barrier Busters Fund, Monofilament fishing line recycling tubes, training for an Educational Facility Dog (a school service dog) at North Woods Elementary, Family & Children’s Center’s totes full of essential basic supplies to set up a new household for foster children transitioning out of the foster care system, and many others.

Submitted: 3/10/2020


Amount requested: $100-$500

Cia Siab Inc

Working to build a culturally vibrant Hmoob community by providing holistic and culturally-specific services with an emphasis on Hmoob language revitalization. In our work, we maintain Cia Siab, Inc. through the four pillars of hope. We understand that our work has to be holistic, address the needs of the community, as well as the root causes of violence, and build leadership skills and positive cultural identity in order to change the hearts and minds of our people. Ongoing gifts help Cia Siab with general operational costs of  their mission.

Submitted: 3/10/2020


Amount requested: $2,500

La Crosse Public Education Foundation

Many students at Lincoln Middle School live in apartments and don’t have the opportunity to grow their own food. Therefore, Lincoln would like to purchase a “Flex Farm” self-contained hydroponic system for growing leafy vegetables and herbs in the classroom. A Flex Farm provides kids the opportunity to learn about agriculture and healthy eating habits. It takes up less than 10 square feet of space and grows 144 plants at a time, producing 28 pounds of leafy greens in 28 days.

Submitted: 3/4/2020


Amount requested: $2,062.50

Family and Children’s Center

As youth transition out of foster care and into adulthood, their responsibilities to become more independent and organized drastically increases. We were given an initial supply of a resource binder as a gift from the DCF, Department of Children & Families, to use as a tool to assist youth in their transition. These binders have proven to be a successful tool for our clients. After nearly exhausting our initial gift, additional binders have to be purchased by our agency. The binder provides foster-informed guidance and space to organize important documents (birth certificate, insurance information, school applications, finances, advocacy, self-care etc.) that youth need for court, education, and the transition into adulthood. It provides a safe place to store court documents, case planning notes, contact information, resources, records, events and even keepsakes. It helps the youth to be more engaged in their case plan. We would like to purchase 75 of the binders that cost $27.50 each. They are a three-ring binder with a protective binder flap that keeps contents secure. We are grateful for your consideration.

Submitted: 2/26/2020


Amount requested: $2,500

Habitat for Humanity La Crosse Area

2020 Faith Build partnership with Thrivent Financial. We are seeking matching funds from the Faith community to build a home for a family in need. We have a lot purchased and are bringing people of all faiths to come together and provide a family with a place to call home. Thrivent has given $87,500 to cover half of the cost and the other half needs to come from the Faith Community in the La Crosse Area. We are raising walls, funds and prayers to make this happen before the end of 2020! Can we count on your support?

Submitted: 2/13/2020


Amount requested: $500

The Parenting Place

Donor advisors passionate about supporting parents experiencing poverty and its complicating factors can provide funds to stock our Diaper Bank with the sizes parents need most.

The Parenting Place’s Diaper Bank gives any parent or caregiver access to free diapers when they have a need, putting into action the findings of a study published in Pediatrics (July, 29, 2013) showing that “an adequate supply of diapers may prove a tangible way of reducing parenting stress, a critical factor influencing child health and development.”

The Diaper Bank is stocked primarily by donations from generous individuals and businesses hosting diaper drives throughout the community. As an example of Diaper Bank need, in June of 2019, 2,745 diapers were distributed to parents. We find parents’ need for certain diaper sizes (size 6 in particular) often outpaces donations. By donating funds to the Diaper Bank so that high-demand sizes can be purchased, you’ll be ensuring that parents can find the sizes they need, every time.

Your gift of any amount can be used to purchase diapers, and donations of $2,000 or greater would allow us to pursue the possibility of bulk purchasing options at significant savings.

Submitted: 2/5/2020