United Way of Marathon County :: Your Hub for Volunteer Opportunities at Nearly 100 Local Agencies in Need

Written by Krista Mischo

Whether you’re looking for a one-time, community-wide event to participate in or a daily volunteer position — or anything in between — United Way of Marathon County can help!

For more than 15 years, dedicated United Way staff have matched families, schools, service groups, employers, retirees, and others to volunteer needs in and around Marathon County.

Read on for all the ways you can find that “just right” volunteer opportunity for YOU . . .

Volunteer at a Community Event!

Sign up to rake yards one day this October for those who are disabled or elderly in our local community so they may continue to live at home.

Or help make a dent in hunger insecurity in Marathon County or assist babies in need of diapers or formula.

The following are 3 United Way of Marathon County community events that have needs you can fill this fall:

1. Make a Difference Day” Community Raking Project (October 26)

Marathon County’s upcoming Make a Difference Day — the largest community raking project in the area — will be on Saturday, October 26, 2019.

Make a Difference Day - Volunteer Group Photo

Service groups, school groups (from elementary to college), families, and other individuals rake the yards of seniors (or those unable because of disability) to help give these residents peace of mind and increase their independence.

Volunteers schedule a time to rake yards the week prior to the event and/or on the Saturday of Make a Difference Day, so the leaves may later be collected by the municipality or hauled away by volunteers when a leaf-collection service is not provided.

In 2018, 700 volunteers came together with rakes and trailers to clean up 130+ yards of senior or disabled residents in Marathon County. Total volunteer hours topped 2,400!

Several bags of food and toiletries and many boxes of winter coats were also collected on Make A Difference Day, including:

  • Fill A Food Pantry – Non-perishable food items were donated to the Marathon County Hunger Coalition.
  • Toiletries Drive – Personal care items for men, women, and children were donated to Workplace Volunteer Council’s Back to Basics project.
  • Coats for Kids – New or gently used outerwear for kids to adults was collected by the Kiwanis.

If you’d like to join us for our 2019 Make A Difference Day event — either by raking leaves or by hauling leaves in a trailer you supply —  visit our Make a Difference Day sign-up page or contact Krista Mischo at 715-298-5719 or kmischo@unitedwaymc.org.

2. “Turkey Trot” 5K Run/Walk Fundraiser for the Marathon County Hunger Coalition (November 28)

Each year, over 125 volunteers help make the Eastbay Turkey Trot a huge success. Volunteers are needed to help with tasks such as registration, refreshment set-up, course marshalling, and clean-up.

The race begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Eastbay parking lot (111 S. 1st Ave., Wausau) on Thanksgiving Day (November 28, 2019), and proceeds from this community fundraiser go to fight hunger through the Marathon County Hunger Coalition’s efforts during the holiday season and all year long.

2019 Eastbay Turkey Trot - logo

For further event details or to sign up for the race, visit the Turkey Trot registration page. (NOTE: Registration fee increases after October 31, 2019, and registration will NOT be available on the day of the race.)

To volunteer, please visit the Turkey Trot Volunteer Sign-Up page. If you’re having trouble signing up to volunteer, please call 715-298-5719.

3. “Bundles of Joy” Diaper Distribution Program (December)

The Bundles of Joy (BOJ) program supplies 10 area non-profit agencies with diapers to help meet the needs of over 400 families in the course of a year.

Last year, over 26,433 diapers were distributed to children in emergency situations.

Volunteers of the BOJ program get in the holiday spirit as they wrap gifts at the Wausau Center mall during the month of December to help raise money to support this program.

United Way of Marathon County - Bundles of Joy volunteers

Grab a friend or co-worker and sign up for a holiday gift-wrapping shift!

Or you can help the program by bringing your own gifts to our gift-wrapping kiosk at the Wausau Center mall to be wrapped by our volunteers, with 100% of the proceeds from your gift-wrapping donation going to support the Bundles of Joy program.

In 2018, over 300 volunteers gathered for over 600 hours to wrap gifts at the Wausau Center mall, raising over $3,600 for the community program.

In addition, a dedicated team of volunteers helped sort and label over 1,000 packages of diapers that were distributed to families in need in 2018.

2019 Bundles of Joy - Diaper Drive

If interested in volunteering with United Way of Marathon County’s Bundles of Joy program, you can learn more at the Bundles of Joy webpage or by contacting Krista Mischo at 715-298-5719 or kmischo@unitedwaymc.org.

Get Connected On Your Own — Use the Online Volunteer Needs Database!

United Way Volunteer Connection - logo

Volunteer Connection’s Get Connected website can connect individuals and groups to meaningful roles of volunteer service or in-kind donations in and around our local community.

United Way volunteers

The Get Connected website allows you to view one-time events or ongoing needs at almost 100 service organizations throughout Marathon County.

United Way - Volunteers with Books

Get started finding your perfect volunteer match at: http://unitedwaymc.galaxydigital.com/.

For assistance using the site or for questions, call Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Krista Mischo, who heads up Volunteer Connection at United Way of Marathon County, at 715-298-5719.

Join the “Retired & Senior Volunteer Program” (RSVP) for Those 55+!

United Way of Marathon County’s RSVP (Retired and Senior Volunteer Program) engages those 55 years and better with volunteer support, guidance, and opportunities.

RSVP Volunteer

RSVP has many upcoming dates on the calendar to learn about local places that are looking for volunteers, including:

RSVP VolunteerFest — This volunteer fair will host 26 local organizations’ representatives at booths around the room to talk with you about how you can help serve their causes. This free event is open to the public, especially those 55 and older, and includes refreshments, music, and door prizes. Join us October 10, 2019, 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at Holiday Inn at Cedar Creek, Wausau-Rothschild.

RSVP Community Coffees — These free events are a favorite meeting time for those who want to learn about different agencies that are looking for tutors, clerical help, food pantry help, museum tour guides, and more! The roles are varied and as you attend a coffee hour at a local agency, you will learn about what they do and how you might get involved.  The following coffee hours are coming up:

  • October 2, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at The Neighbors’ Place
  • October 24, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Habitat for Humanity


The RSVP Community Calendar also is a great resource if you’re looking for more upcoming RSVP Community Coffee Hours, or places to go and things to do, available at www.unitedwaymc.org/rsvp.

Or, contact Susan Krolow to subscribe to RSVP’s newsletter (view the September issue here) to stay in the loop on upcoming events. Susan can be reached at 715-298-5721 or skrolow@unitedwaymc.org.

*  *  *

I invite you this fall to help make a change in someone’s life, while enhancing yours at the same time!

Volunteers are truly the lifeblood of helpful organizations in Marathon County, which benefit us ALL.

Krista MischoKrista Mischo

Volunteer Engagement Coordinator | United Way of Marathon County

Krista has a background in education, having taught at multiple grade levels, and has also worked in the areas of health and wellness. She is passionate about helping people find a volunteer opportunity that is right for them and cares deeply about serving our community.  Email Krista Mischo.

You might also like…

Marathon_County_LogoPlease email our Editorial Board with your comments, suggestions, and article ideas.

And if you spot a typo or an inaccuracy, please contact us so we can fix it. Thanks!