Families who need financial assistance with rent or utilities in the area can apply for funds through the program by calling the St. Vincent De Paul store at 608-847-6235 at 9 a.m. on the first of each month, or if the first is a Sunday the Monday immediately after the first. Coordinators will then schedule a home visit, a required part of the application, and speak with applicants about finances.
“We’ve seen a big increase (in applications) this year, mostly because of people losing their job due to the virus,” Hartje said. “We were closed for three months, so we didn’t know how many we would be able to help, but this has helped us get through, especially when we didn’t have any funds coming in while closed.”
For those who are able to provide donations, Hartje said there are donation jars in the store. Those interested in donating larger items, should call the store. The organization also provides other opportunities to assist locally, such as scholarship funds for area students.
“It’s a pretty neat program that we didn’t know anything about, so hopefully the community learned something about it too,” Demaske said.
Elsing said the outing not only provided funding for a COVID-19 relief program, it also provided a way for local businesses to get their name out in the community.
“We thought it was also a great way to showcase local businesses,” Elsing said. “The hole sponsorships were just $50 per hole, so it wasn’t too much of a financial commitment, but it allowed us to highlight those businesses, to help us help them, and a lot of local businesses were willing to help.”