What was a dream of three Tomahawk ladies a year ago, became a reality on January 30, 2020. Lois Wise, Sharon Eisenman and Lois Stempke volunteered at a large thrift shop in Minocqua that grants a portion of their net profits to charities throughout northern Wisconsin and thought “why not?” Why not us, why not Tomahawk? With help from friends and an appeal to the Tomahawk area for volunteers, community donations and board members, the dream started to become real.
The purpose of the Tomahawk Community Thrift Shop is to provide Net Profit Grants to local nonprofit organizations. We were able to lease 1200 square feet of space in the Historic Tomahawk Hotel in June 2019. Volunteers began turning the space into a fun thrift shop, donations came pouring in and by July 2 the shop opened its doors. The shop director, staff, and board of directors are all volunteers. The inventory is donated gently used household goods, clothing, sporting goods, furniture and miscellaneous novelties. Working with such a low overhead we are able to keep our prices affordable and still provide local charities with a sustainable income. After two months we began negotiating for more space and in October we expanded into the rest of the first floor Wisconsin Avenue space, more than doubling the store space. Community response was immediate and very favorable.
January 30, 2020, Tomahawk Community Thrift Shop was able to present our first biannual net profit grants. A total of $8,800 was donated to six area charities. These six organizations submitted applications that were reviewed by our grant committee, all six were awarded a profit sharing grant.
$1,675 was awarded to Merrill Community Homeless Center MAC Home to help with operations costs such as cleaning supplies, winter maintenance and heating costs. MAC Home is a unique homeless shelter that provides a warming center and a transitional living area both located in one building. MAC Home opened its doors on March 4, 2019 and has served 140 people with 1,372 safe nights of shelter through December.
$1,675 was awarded to Our Sisters House to allow Case Managers to help grow job readiness skills such as job search, resume development, obtaining necessary work documents, mock job interviews, soft skill training, interview clothing, haircuts, job uniform costs etc. Sustained intensive interactions with a Case Manager is the most effective method to assist homeless individuals who struggle with inner demons like mental illness, addiction, abuse or some other form of trauma. Our Sisters House, Tomahawk provides temporary housing and living essentials to those in need and also Case Managers who promote independent living.
$1,600 was awarded to Redeemer Learning Center for the purchase of 4 cribs with heavy duty wheels for evacuation of infants. Redeemer Learning Center serves area families with childcare and preschool services for children from 20 months to 12 years. Their 2020 expansion will give them the ability to serve infants.
$1,675 was awarded to Salvation Army Tomahawk to provide food for Tomahawk and St. Mary’s elementary school children through the Back Pack program. Salvation Army Tomahawk is facing a shortage of donations. The 2019 bell ringing season was $12,000 short due to the closing of Shopko Hometown and not being able to participate at Walmart Rhinelander.
$500 was awarded to Tomahawk Area Interfaith Volunteers to help improve visibility and awareness in the community. This grant will be used for professional assistance with the development of an informational video to be used for community presentations to help attract volunteers and care receivers, as well as, show to perspective funding sources. TAIV assists seniors and those with disabilities remain living with dignity in the residence of their choice for as long as feasible.
$1,675 was awarded to Tomahawk Emergency Food Pantry to purchase food and vouchers from local grocery stores. Tomahawk Emergency Food Pantry serves over 100 families each month by providing nonperishable food, toiletries and vouchers to be used at both local grocery stores for fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy and other perishable foods. 019 has seen a tremendous increase in amount of families and individuals who rely on this service, the Food Pantry has exhausted their reserves and need community support.
Twice a year we will open our grant applications to area nonprofits for consideration in the disbursement of profits. The next grant window will be open May 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020, all local nonprofit charities are welcome to apply at .
Help us help our community by donating gently used items, volunteering and shopping. Show your support for our neighbors and keep Tomahawk known as a helpful, friendly, caring community.
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