Community Orgs

Amid Cold Snap, Emergency Fundraiser Raises More Than $20K For Homeless

Chippewa Valley donors' generosity far exceeds original goal

Rebecca Mennecke |

(Photo via Facebook)
(Photo via Facebook)

If you’ve stepped outside in the past few days – or heck, even looked at the weather forecast – you know it’s been chilly. Freezing. Frigid. Downright bitter.

As the brutal cold snows and blows its way through the Chippewa Valley, Eau Claire City Councilmember Andrew Werthmann thought of the people who don’t have a warm bed, a cozy fireplace, or even a winter jacket to keep warm: people experiencing homelessness.

On Sunday, Feb. 7, Werthmann organized an online fundraiser on behalf of the Chippewa Valley Street Ministry to help those who are homelessness receive emergency winter materials to keep warm and stay healthy. The ministry aims to help those without housing, clothing, and other essential needs. Werthmann’s goal was to reach $5,000. And locals answered the call – and then some.

As of Feb. 9, the fundraiser has soared past the $20,000 mark.

I have joined the Chippewa Valley Street Ministry and seen the work they do – it is so needed. It’s not just handing out coats, hats, mittens, food, backpacks, blankets, to folks who desperately need it – they also check on folks and make sure everyone is OK.

ANDREW WERTHMANN

EAU CLAIRE CITY COUNCILMEMBER

“What an inspiring show of support and care for our friends and neighbors in the cold!” Werthmann posted on Feb. 7. “I have joined the Chippewa Valley Street Ministry and seen the work they do – it is so needed. It’s not just handing out coats, hats, mittens, food, backpacks, blankets, to folks who desperately need it – they also check on folks and make sure everyone is OK.”

The initial $5,000 goal will be used to purchase and hand out heavy coats, hats, warmers, food, and backpacks, which will continue throughout this week. Extra proceeds will go to organizations who help fight homelessness in the Chippewa Valley, including Bolton Refuge House, The Community Table, Feed My People Food Bank, Chippewa Valley Free Clinic, Shepherd’s Closet, 420 Internet Cafe (which offers free meals), and Eau Claire Area School District’s Homeless Children and Youth Fund.

“Our work is not glamorous or extraordinary,” said Chippewa Valley Street Ministry members in a Facebook post made by Werthmann. “It’s doing the right thing for those who (are) in need where they are at physically, mentally, spiritually. Our care can become broader with your help.”

Check out the fundraiser at on Facebook. 

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