Operation HELP provides residents of St. Croix County with financial assistance, a place for personal support, and connections to community resources to alleviate short-term economic crises.
As a result of the assistance we received from [Operation HELP], my children and I were able to maintain our self-respect and not have to sell our furniture to raise money to pay the rent.
We can help visitors with vouchers, emergency supplies and referrals for support and aid
We can help with rent, utilities and car repairs. Click here for more information about eligibility requirements and information on how to access this support.
Every year Operation HELP links families in need with generous sponsors who provide gifts and other items for the families at Christmas time.
In addition to Christmas gifts requested by the recipients, each family receives a gift bag of toiletries, toilet paper, Kleenex, laundry soap and other household necessities.
For over 30 years this program has been bringing together sponsors, businesses, churches, and dozens of volunteers to help make every Christmas a merry one for children in the Hudson School District who might otherwise go without. Last year this project provided gifts for 466 children in 173 families.
Recipient families and sponsors may sign up to participate in the program online from October 18 through November 18, 2020.
Sponsors are asked to bring donated items to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (502 County Rd. UU) on Monday November 30th or Tuesday December 1st between 10:00 am and 7:00 pm. Volunteers will organize the gifts through Wednesday, with distribution of items to families on Thursday December 3rd from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm.
Want to Help? Please call us at 715-386-1300.
Operation HELP COVID-19 Update
Recent emergency declarations and public measures being taken to address the COVID-19/novel coronavirus outbreak are having a significant personal and financial impact on many families and individuals living in our St. Croix County communities. Because our mission is to provide emergency financial assistance, supplies, and support for people experiencing financial hardship, Operation HELP is committed to continue providing services during the COVID-19 crisis. We will remain open, with minor adjustments to our programs and operations, during the pandemic.
To balance the safety of our volunteers and clients and the need to continue providing assistance, Operation HELP is taking the following measures, based on guidance from public health officials:
- Anyone needing financial assistance should initially use the application forms or contact forms at the Operation HELP website (operationhelpstcroix.org) if possible to reduce person-to-person contact. If you don’t have online access, please call (715) 386-1300 to apply over the phone.
- Persons needing vouchers, diapers or other supplies should call the Resource Center office at (715) 386-1300 before visiting to make sure items are available and office is staffed.
- Public access to supply areas of the office will be restricted and volunteers will bring items out to clients.
- During busy times, clients will be asked to wait in larger common areas to maintain social distancing.
- To accommodate health or exposure concerns of volunteers, the office may be operating with reduced staffing at times.
To be more responsive and flexible to emerging needs created by COVID-19, Operation HELP has changed an eligibility guideline for receiving rent assistance. The 12-month waiting period after receiving previous financial assistance may be waived on a case-by-case basis for people affected by COVID-19 (temporary layoffs, reduced hours, etc.). This applies to rent assistance only.
We anticipate seeing increased need for financial assistance as the effects of COVID-19 closures, layoffs, etc. become a reality for local residents. We will continue to monitor overall need, available resources, and risks as the situation evolves and make adjustments accordingly.
If you know someone who needs assistance, please help us spread the word. For anyone wishing to help in these efforts, donations can be made through the Operation HELP website.
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Subscribe to Operation HELP's email list to receive our semi-annual newsletter, notification about activities like the annual Christmas for Kids project, and occasional updates on programs and fun public events. We promise we won't overwhelm your inbox and you can unsubscribe at anytime! Click below to subscribe
Free “Spending Plan” Classes
Get help with managing your money by attending one or more free classes offered by Operation HELP. You will learn how to create a spending plan, better understand your spending habits, steps needed to stay within your plan, and overall how to meet your financial goals. In addition, we offer a one-on-one review of your budget as needed or requested. Classes are approximately one hour.
Here are the top 3 reasons to take the class:
- Once you track your spending, you’ll start to know exactly where your money is going. It may open your eyes as to where you’re putting your money every month and where you really can cut back.
- By creating a spending plan, you may able to avoid overdrafts, getting into debt, and better anticipate irregular expenses.
- You can achieve financial goals more quickly. Budgeting is a way to be more intentional with your money, even if it’s limited, so you spend more of your money on higher priorities.
You may be surprised at what a positive difference it made to write down a simple budget. Call Operation HELP at 715-386-1300 to sign up or sign up below.
Mary Blanchard and Barb Van Loenen, Operation HELP board members, were interviewed last year by Jamie Johnson of the Western Wisconsin Journal to explain the services provided for our clients. Click HERE to watch this video.
Here is more info on the ALICE study:
- 42% of Wisconsin households can’t afford the basics of housing, food, health care, child care, and transportation, despite working.
- There are nearly 670,922 ALICE households in Wisconsin, more than double the official poverty rate. Together, with those in poverty, there are 960,131 households unable to make ends meet in Wisconsin.
- More than two-thirds of Wisconsin’s municipalities have more than 30 percent of households unable to afford life’s basic necessities.
- 65% of all jobs in Wisconsin pay less than $20 an hour and most pay less than $15 an hour. The jobs forecast shows low-paying jobs dominating the economy into the future.
- Despite working and receiving financial supports, ALICE reports a 21% gap in the income needed to be able to survive and afford the basics in WI.
Operation HELP received funding for a “Diaper Bank” for all residents of St. Croix County earlier this year. Once a month families in St. Croix County can come to the Operation HELP office and receive 80 – 100 diapers for each child.
Volunteers have many different roles at Operation HELP. If you are interested in learning more click the button below.