NWS National Week of Community Service: Sep 25 - Oct 1

From September 25th through October 1st, the 122 National Weather Service offices, 21 Central Weather Service Units, 13 River Forecast Centers, 6 regional headquarters, and its 18 national centers will be holding their inaugural NWS National Week of Community Service

Besides working diligently to issue the most accurate forecasts and warnings possible, our service extends well beyond the bricks and mortar in which we work.  During this week, our staffs will make a concerted effort to reach out to help those who are in need in our communities.  All of these additional activities occur outside of our normal work hours.
NWS employees helping sort food at the Dare to Care Food Bank in Louisville, KY
 Some of the volunteer activities nationally will include the following: NWS employees helping sort food
at the Dare to Care Food Bank in
Louisville, KY

Adopt a Highway Homeless Shelter
Boys & Girls Club Hospitals
Food Bank Meals on Wheels
Goodwill Ronald McDonald House
Graffiti Repair Soup Kitchens
Habitat for Humanity  

While this week is designated as the NWS National Week of Community Service, many of the offices are routinely conducting volunteer activities through the year.  Recently, some NWS employees assisted communities ravaged by tornadoes and other natural disasters.

Local Participation from the NWS La Crosse office:

Our local participation in this NWS National Week of Community Service started a day early when a couple members of our staff and their spouses either ran in or helped support the La Crosse Area Family YMCA Maple Leaf Road Race.  The proceeds raised during this event help support the Y's Strong Kids Campaign, which gives everyone the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive by providing financial assistance for membership and programs at the Y. 

On September 26th, we distributed school supplies to four schools (Logan High School in La Crosse; Northside Elementary - Franklin Campus in La Crosse; Washington-Kosciusko Elementary School in Winona, MN; and West Salem Middle).  These supplies were brought into the office by our staff from mid-August through mid-September.  This was our second year of doing this; last year we were able to give supplies to three different schools (Eagle Bluff Elementary School in Onalaska, Sand Lake Elementary School in Holmen, and West Salem High School).
Andrew Just getting ready to deliver some of school supplies which were donated by the NWS staff.

Andrew Just getting ready to deliver
some of school supplies which were
donated by the NWS La Crosse staff.

We will also help out at the WAFER Food Pantry in La Crosse during this week

Like many of the NWS offices, our office has several community volunteer activities in which we participate throughout the year.  These include:

1)    WAFER:  This is the local community food bank.  NWS La Crosse staff members volunteer there two times a month from October through April.  While there, we do anything they need at the time.  This includes handing out food, filling the pantry shelves, sorting food, and sweeping and mopping their facility.  During our 2009 Open House, our office conducted a food drive for WAFER & the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse and we collected roughly 650 pounds of donated goods and $127.25. 

David Schwemlein helping out at WAFER Food which was donated to the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse at the NWS La Crosse 2009 Open House
David Schwemlein helping
out at WAFER
Food which was donated to the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse at the NWS La Crosse 2009 Open House

 2)

Kane Street Garden:  NWS La Cross staff volunteer twice a month from May through September at the Kane Street Community Garden in La Crosse.  While there, we have planted and picked vegetables, weeded, and performed a variety of other tasks.

Going around the row beginning at top left: Todd Huffman (garden coordinator), Amanda Davis, Jeff Boyne, David Schwemlein, Mike Welvaert, Dan Baumgardt, and Matt Davis. Pictured above L to R: Todd Rieck, Jeff Boyne, Jessica Brooks, Hunter Baumgardt, Sawyer Baumgardt, and Dan Baumgardt.
Going around the row beginning at top left: Todd Huffman (garden coordinator), Amanda Davis, Jeff Boyne, David Schwemlein, Mike Welvaert, Dan Baumgardt, and Matt Davis. Pictured above L to R: Todd Rieck, Jeff Boyne, Jessica Brooks, Hunter Baumgardt, Sawyer Baumgardt, and Dan Baumgardt.

3)

 Stuff the Bus: NWS La Crosse staff members helped collect food and monetary donations at this annual food drive.  It was sponsored by the La Crosse indoor football team in conjunction with Mid-West Family Broadcasting and Pepsi

Jeff Raberding & David Schwemlein help at Stuff the Bus Some of donated food which was placed in the charter bus.
Jeff Raberding & David Schwemlein
help at Stuff the Bus
Some of the donated food which was
placed in the charter bus.

 4)

New Horizons Women's Shelter:  During the past two years, from mid-November through early December, our staff has brought in donations for the New Horizons Shelter of La Crosse.  These donations have helped many women and children to have appropriate clothing to stay warm through the winter.

Verna Frohmader led up our donation drive for the New Horizons Women's Shelter Some of our donations to the New Horizons Women's Shelter.
Verna Frohmader led up our donation drive for the New Horizons Women's Shelter. Some of our donations to the New Horizons Women's Shelter.

 5)

Big Brothers & Big Sisters Bowl for Kid's Sake:  NWS La Crosse has had either one or two teams at this event.  In the 12 years we have participated in this event we have raised over $17,000 for Big Brothers & Big Sisters.

 6) Adopt-A-Family Donations:  During early to mid-December, NWS La Crosse has adopted a family in need through the Family & Children’s Center of La Crosse.



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