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Two programs merge under Neighborhood Partners banner

MENASHA — Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin (NCW) is pleased to announce the merger of two innovative programs — Neighborhood Partners and NeighborCARE — to operate under the banner of Neighborhood Partners.

Neighborhood Partners was established in 2013, piloting its approach in the Historic Central Neighborhood north of downtown Appleton and became a permanent program of Goodwill NCW in 2016. As a standalone program, Neighborhood Partners has used a grassroots, asset-based, intergenerational approach, building the capacity of neighbors to build relationships, determine priorities, mobilize assets and take action to enhance quality of life.

NeighborCARE, established in 2014, has helped neighborhoods identify and leverage their strengths to meet the challenge of isolation and loneliness of adults 55 years and older. Through its efforts, it quickly became apparent that an intergenerational approach is necessary for success in this work and that relationship-building is good for all members of a neighborhood.

The specialized focus on addressing senior isolation through neighborly connections is now fully integrated into the broader work of Neighborhood Partners. As of Jan. 1, 2018, the newly combined program supports the work of engaged neighbors in Appleton, Menasha and Oshkosh, and the rural community of Denmark.

In 2017, through the work of NeighborCARE and Neighborhood Partners, more than 950 people were actively engaged in their neighborhoods, including more than 280 people over age 55. Both programs share a goal to enhance the quality of neighborhood life, using similar principles, practices and approaches.

Goodwill NCW is grateful for the early partnerships between our organization and the Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) of Brown, Outagamie, and Winnebago counties that launched the NeighborCARE work, and the grant funding from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, made possible by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs, the J. J. Keller Foundation and other community donors.

On March 14, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation awarded an additional $13,915 grant for Neighborhood Partners’ work in Denmark. Much early work in the former NeighborCare program began in Denmark, with the assistance of funding from the foundation.

Tanya Rabec, community engagement partner and former program leader of the NeighborCARE program, will serve on a three-person panel interviewed on the Milwaukee PBS program, “Next Avenue Community Conversations,” to be recorded at the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc on Tuesday, March 27.

According to a press release, “Next Avenue” hosts several workshops each year, followed by broadcast on Milwaukee PBS. The Manitowoc taping will focus on the topic of loneliness for people over the age of 50, who are prone to feelings of loneliness and loss.

Also serving on the panel will be Asta Timm, a certified life coach and relationship coach, and Michelle Birschbach, an attorney who specializes in trust and estates, and elder law.

About Goodwill NCW: Goodwill NCW is a not-for-profit human services organization that in 2017 helped improve the lives of more than 70,000 people across 35 counties in north central Wisconsin. The organization includes 27 retail stores and training centers in communities from Manitowoc to La Crosse, 24 human services programs, a unique shopping experience at its Appleton outlet store, plus online shopping at www.reStitch.com, a women’s apparel website, and www.shopgoodwill.com. It offers four Donation Express sites in the Fox Cities and Green Bay, and 10 convenient donation bins throughout the Fox Cities. Goodwill NCW is a Platinum Level member of GuideStar.org, the world’s largest source of nonprofit organization information. Visit the website at www.goodwillncw.org.

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