In March, the Milwaukee 40U40 group asked for community support to raise funds to purchase goods and services from local small businesses in order to turn around and donate to local healthcare workers dealing with the first wave of COVID-19 infections in the state.
During the course of just over a month:
· Over $27,000 was raised
· Supported 25 local businesses
· Purchased over 4800 items
· Donated to 44 local hospitals, clinics, community health centers, and senior living facilities.
It’s now 8 months later and unsurprisingly, restaurants, performance venues and other businesses continue to feel the effects as the some of the hardest hit sectors of our economy. Job losses and economic uncertainty are concentrated such that many of our favorite venues that we have come to know and love may not be able to make it through this extended period of COVID impacts.
At the same time, our health care professionals and other essential business workers are gridding for a second major wave of intense care-giving which is now upon us and expected to last for the next 45-60 days. The community is stretching to provide a safety net under all of this but pressures are mounting as we enter the winter months.
To address the above conditions we are proposing the following targeted program to run between now and New Year’s Day (and beyond if necessary). The intent is to provide sufficient revenue to restaurants, performance venues and other industries to help them reach “the other side” of COVID; to provide opportunities whereby people can continue to “show some love” toward front line health care providers; and create an avenue where the sharing of gift cards and other experiences connects these disparate points represented by Milwaukee’s favorite community-based establishments.
The proposed program would be known by the acronym “SAVOUR” – a contraction of “save our” industries. SavOur is designed to promote an easy and convenient way for giving the gift of longevity to the entire spectrum of beneficiaries:
1. First, SavOur is a gift card promotion with special emphasis that drives immediate revenue to restaurants and venues desperately in need of cash flow. While you make plans to spend money this holiday season, we encourage you to buy gift cards to restaurants and venues of your choosing to ensure the money goes directly to help sustain the businesses & organizations you love.
2. Second, SavOur campaign would repeat the outpouring of support for our front line health care providers, whereby the 40U40 group would accept donations (to this GoFundMe account) and use those funds to purchase gift cards for healthcare workers. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DONATE TO THIS CAMPAIGN HERE TO SUPPORT THIS PART OF THE INITIATIVE
Once again, we will be working with local healthcare groups to ensure that all donations to healthcare workers are delivered in such a way as to minimize any risk to their workers.
Please join us in supporting small businesses and giving back to those who are risking their own safety for that of the community.
The Entire Milwaukee 40U40 Team
Just as we did earlier this year, our group will use the funds donated to this account to purchase product (in this case, gift cards) to a wide variety of restaurants and businesses that fit our mission throughout the Milwaukee area. We welcome recommendations of businesses to support. However, if you feel strong about making sure a particular business gets your money, we encourage you to follow Option 1 of the Program and purchase directly through that business.
This initiative is the result of a grassroots effort. We do not have a non-profit status and therefore your donation to this page is not tax deductible. At the end of the campaign, I, Justin Smith - one of the organizers of SavOur, will be withdrawing all funds raised to my personal bank account and will coordinate the distribution of 100% of these funds to our local business partners and healthcare workers.
- Kent Newbury
- Jenny Roanhouse
- Ryan Pattee
- Amanda Daering
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