Madison, WI — Boys and Girls from across the state will benefit from a $20,000 donation made by the WEA Trust and intended to combat learning loss from school closings, provide more access to online learning and address youth mental health issues related to COVID-19. The WEA Trust, which provides group health insurance to public schools and employees throughout Wisconsin, made the donation in connection with its annual Trustee election. By pledging a per vote donation to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wisconsin, the WEA Trust experienced its highest ever vote total in its 50 year history.
“We are proud to partner with clubs to help children across Wisconsin when they need it most,” said Mike Quist, President & CEO of WEA Trust. “We know clubs have continued to serve the community during the pandemic, and we are here side by side to support them in our local communities.” Clubs work with 144,800 youth across 154 sites in 58 Wisconsin cities, more than any organization outside of our public school system. They also serve two million meals and snacks to youth every year at no cost.
In areas including Appleton, Oshkosh and Berlin, local clubs stepped up to offer childcare for medical staff and first responders. In dozens of locations, from Madison and Milwaukee to Baraboo and Door County, staff distributed food to local families. “Our clubs are dependent upon generous contributions from organizations like WEA Trust,” said Andy Gussert, State Alliance Director. “We’ve had to cancel over a dozen fundraising events across the state this spring, and will postpone more this summer. This leaves a financial gap of millions dollars across our organizations. We appreciate WEA Trust stepping up to fill that gap.”
Wisconsin clubs serve more youth per person than any other state in the country. Seven out of every ten kids are from a racial or ethnic minority, two of every five are from a single parent household, and two of every three are on reduced school lunch programs. “These are the kids who most need us most during the pandemic,” said Gussert.
The WEA Trust provides group health insurance and administrative services to public employers throughout Wisconsin. The not-for-profit WEA Trust was created in 1970 to serve Wisconsin school district employees. Today, the WEA Trust offers its top-rated service and quality benefits to all state, county, and municipal groups. Learn more by visiting www.WEAtrust.com/AboutUs
Over half of Wisconsin Boys & Girls Club sites will reopen in June. They started a statewide COVID-19 Relief Fund at www.bgcwisconsin.org that will be directed towards purchasing food, acquiring supplies, paying staff, and addressing needs directly related to the coronavirus pandemic.