A volunteer-driven nonprofit that recruits folks to become family-like support for those that need it is hosting a 5k run/walk fundraiser Saturday in Onalaska.
Safe Families Wisconsin finds volunteers to help families that are facing difficult circumstances and social isolation — those that don’t have the supports a lot of other families have. The organization’s goals include child abuse prevention, child welfare deflection, and family support and stabilization.
WHAT: Safe Families 5K fundraiser
WHEN: 8:30 a.m. Saturday race begins
ONLINE REGISTER: Cost $25 through Oct. 8. Signup here.
DAY-OF REGISTER: Begins at 7:30 a.m. Cost $35
WHERE: Great River Landing (map)
PRIZE: Men’s and women’s winners each receive a $100 Kwik Trip gift card.
“All of our volunteers are screened and approved, and we can provide temporary homes for children,” Tracy Trussoni told Classic Hits 94.7. “We can be a mentor or encourager to a parent and you can also be a volunteer who works with families on their goals and get them connected to resources in our community.”
Safe Families Wisconsin may be relatively new to the area but it is already helping families. The national organization was founded in 2003 and, in August of 2020, La Crosse became one of over 70 U.S. chapters.
Safe Families wants to see families stay together with voluntary involvement from the family, nothing is forced on them.
“If we do host any children, parents don’t lose custody of their children, and they can have them returned at any time,” Trussoni said.
A family can call Safe Families Wisconsin themselves for a referral. They also have referral partners throughout the community, the biggest being schools and the Salvation Army.
Trussoni wanted to stress that they are not a program.
“We are just relational,” she said. “We want to connect people to resources in the community and we also just want to support families because we really want to see families stay together. That’s really our mission.”