CONNECTING to the Community
Making a Difference

For over a century the Rotary Club of Milwaukee has been proud to make a difference by CONNECTING PEOPLE AND RESOURCES.  In 2022, the Rotary Club of Milwaukee announced a fun, new way to make a difference in Milwaukee. Using $30,000 from the RCM Community Trust, and Rotarians’ connections in the community, members were given the opportunity to sponsor “Connecting to the Community” grants to worthwhile projects in metro Milwaukee.  Special consideration was given to projects that address the impact of structural racism or the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Rotary Club of Milwaukee is pleased to announce the fourth of five grant winners...


YWCA of Southeastern WI – $5,000

YWCA Southeast Wisconsin Announces Restructuring - Milwaukee Community Journal

Sponsored by Rotarians M. Kathleen Eilers, Nancy Sennett, Kathy Ehley, Catherine LaFleur, and Megan Holbrook


YWCA SEW’s has #OneMission: to eliminate racism and empower women. Its Economic Empowerment Program serves this work with three current pillars: Adult Education, Personal Financial Literacy, and the Opportunity Advancement Center. This grant will support the creation of a new mentoring program. This expanded mentoring model will be designed with the input of the program participants themselves beginning this summer and is supported by a collaboration of funders (including Milwaukee Rotary) through 2024. Learn more here.


Acts Housing – $5,000

Acts Housing

Sponsored by Rotarians Tony Franda and Pam Evanson


Families who purchase homes with the support of Acts programs create stability, financial security, and generational wealth by exiting the rental market and reducing monthly housing expenses. These extra funds can be used to purchase food, repair a vehicle, or invest in the home.  Acts Housing provides financial education, lending support, real estate services and home rehab coaching all under one roof. This improves the likelihood of success because families receive a more comprehensive experience and Acts team members are in constant communication bringing additional expertise and resources to the table.  Learn more here.


Money Coach, SecureFutures – $5,000


Sponsored by Rotarians Jackie Herd-Barber, Eve Hall, Steve Chevalier, Leslie Hauser, Jim Ford


Studies show a lack of financial literacy among Wisconsin residents – many living paycheck to paycheck with a lack of emergency savings. Money Coach, a one-of-a-kind financial mentoring program provided through SecureFutures, provides teens from under-resourced Milwaukee communities with the coaching and guidance needed to develop strong money management habits and long-term financial capability. Teens are matched with volunteer mentors from the business community who teach financial literacy and provide one-on-one guidance. Students have the opportunity to earn a college/career scholarship giving them the opportunity to practice managing money while working alongside a trusted, caring coach. Learn more here.


Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity Women Build — $5,000


DSC02645-2Sponsored by Rotarians Barbara Velez, Janet Protsiewicz, Joanne Grunau, and Megan Holbrook.


Milwaukee is in the midst of an affordable housing crisis. The most common barriers to homeownership include large down payments, rising housing costs, and denial of affordable loans. Milwaukee Habitat helps families become first-time homebuyers. Habitat homeowners help build their own homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.  The Milwaukee Habitat Women Build will bring together women from across the area August 3rd – 6th to build homes and break down barriers alongside future homeowners.  Learn more here.



Stay tuned each week for additional announcements on grant winners.


Many thanks to the Connecting to the Community Grants Committee, co-chaired by Pat Cronin and Beth Ridley, and members Kaushal Chari, Jody Lowe, Mary McCormick, Theresa Reagan and Marilka Velez.