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Winona Volunteer Services Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Human Services

Mission: With dedicated volunteers and partners, we help people address life's challenges in a respectful and dignified manner. We do this by distributing food in a food shelf, delivering home delivered meals, coordinating a summer lunch program, providing vouchers for basic needs, offering client education classes to improve health and well-being of individuals, helping people network to other service providers and running a clothing thrift store.

Programs: The supplemental food shelf offers eligible residents with limited resources a way to receive free food once a month. Individuals are asked to provide proof of residence and self declare income when applying for this program. Eligible applicants receive a 12-month punch card. The punch card allows a household to visit the food shelf once a month. Shoppers select their own food items based on a point system. Qualifying households have incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. Shoppers may recertify annually by showing proof of where they live and providing knowledge of their household income. In 2017, 17,927 individuals (an average of 774 households every month) utilized the food shelf and another 1,504 individuals requested emergency food. Volunteers and staff distributed 538,081 pounds, averaging 44,840 pounds every month.

the coordinated assistance program exists to provide a central point of contact to those seeking financial assistance due to urgent and unexpected situations. The client services coordinator meets privately with the individual to verify the details of the situation. Depending upon the request, calls may be made to the landlord, employer or human service agencies to confirm the unexpected situation. Our goal is to first use existing programs and services to help solve the problem. If a person cannot genuinely find help through existing services, wvs will directly assist clients with transportation, gasoline, diapers, clothing, shelter, dental and rent assistance. Individuals with qualifying requests will receive a voucher, not cash, for a specific amount written to a specific vendor. If the situation does not meet our assistance guidelines, a referral may be made to another resource for help. We also network with area churches and other helping agencies to avoid duplication of services. In 2017, 534 service vouchers were issued totaling $34,894.

this program sells good quality used clothing inexpensively to all income levels generating revenue for wvs operations. 5,935 donations were sorted by volunteers throughout the year and we provided $1,326 worth of free clothing to qualifying individuals. Volunteers rang up 13,592 transactions totaling $91,238 in sales.

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