Voices from the Valley: A podcast of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region
Helping Waupaca Thrive!

Helping Waupaca Thrive!

September 12, 2022

What makes Waupaca a special place to live, work and play? The answer can be found in its people, working together to bring this already thriving community to a whole new level of cultural attractiveness. In this episode, we hear from people making a big impact thanks to generous donors.

The Waupaca Area Community Foundation recently awarded grants totaling a record $170,822 to 18 area nonprofit organizations from the Waupaca Area Community Foundation Fund to help enhance the quality of life in the greater Waupaca area. The grants included two significant grants from its Community Enhancement Grant category:

The Waupaca Area Chamber Foundation received $25,000 to develop a marketing campaign highlighting Waupaca’s economic, cultural, and recreational assets with the goal of attracting newcomers to the greater Waupaca area.

And the Waupaca Community Arts Board received $25,000 to expand the Waupaca Community Arts Hub by building staff capacity, increasing outreach programs, and adding equipment. Research shows arts-rich communities stimulate innovative thinking, recruit and retain residents, drive tourism and create an economic engine.

More links here at  https://www.cffoxvalley.org/podcast/helping-waupaca-thrive/

How the growth of our Hispanic population impacts the Fox Valley

How the growth of our Hispanic population impacts the Fox Valley

August 30, 2022

This summer’s Fox Cities LIFE Study finds one of the largest shifts in the Census data is in our local Hispanic population. In fact Hispanics make up the largest minority group in northeast Wisconsin.  Hispanic and Latino residents of communities along the Interstate 41 corridor between Oshkosh and Green Bay increased by 46% between 2010 and 2020. 

 The growing number of Hispanic and Latino people in northeast Wisconsin outpaced Hispanic growth nationwide in the last 10 years, but lags the multigenerational growth that has built large Hispanic communities in other parts of the country, we’re going to link up all the Census numbers in our program notes today which you can find on our website.  

In this episode we revisit a conversation we had with Lissette Cruz-Jimenez, a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion coordinator for Latinx middle school students for the Appleton Area School District. Lissette’s is one of five DEI positions in the district, all working to help students feel a little more included in the fabric of the community.   
Links for this episode here:

The Changing Face of the Fox Valley

The Changing Face of the Fox Valley

August 19, 2022

The most recent data from the new Fox Cities Leading Indicators for Excellence (LIFE) Study  and the U.S. Census Bureau shows us what we all can see: Racial and ethnic diversity in northeast Wisconsin is increasing. The number of Black, Asian, Native American, multiracial and Hispanic people increased 57% over the past decade. And it is wonderful to see!

But much more important than the numbers are the people behind them and their stories. In this episode we revisit the voices of Timber Smith, the City of Appleton's diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator. We also sit down with Natalie Eilbert from the Green Bay Press-Gazette, and Duke Behnke from The Post-Crescent in Appleton about their series of reports, Home is Here: Stories Behind the Census. The series is part of a Journalism initiative called the New News Lab, a group of news organizations dedicated to preserving in-depth local reporting.

More resources and links can be found in our program notes here:

Trail update: Connecting Communities

Trail update: Connecting Communities

July 29, 2022

What should we be thinking about when it comes to making improvements so that more people can enjoy all that our communities have to offer? The Fox Valley region is full of walking and biking trails that connect our communities. But who uses them and are they accessible to all?  How do we begin talking about terms like, "Environmental Justice," and "Transportation Equity?" In this Voices from the Valley episode, we update you on several projects in the Valley, including exciting news about the creation of a recreation pedestrian and bicycle trail connecting the Fox Valley to High Cliff State Park.

There are so many ways people are getting involved in these projects, from generous donors who are supporting these projects financially, to local leaders and environmental specialists who are rolling up their sleeves to talk about the best way to improve trails in the Fox Valley. Last year, a Fox Cities Trail Summit  organized by the nonprofit Fox Cities Greenways and the East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, was funded by a grant from the Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation.

Show notes for this episode:   https://www.cffoxvalley.org/podcast/trail-update-connecting-communities/ 

Gresham’s Hope

Gresham’s Hope

July 6, 2022

In this episode we revisit the fascinating story of how one small town in our area, Gresham Wisconsin, is making dreams come true for its youth. In a town of fewer than 600 people, that means a lot. For the past 21 years, young people graduating from Gresham High School have been given an opportunity to pursue their dreams. And it’s all because people in Gresham and its surrounding neighbors have decided that its young people are worth investing in.  Listen to how an incredible community initiative has come about, giving Gresham residents a chance to build a treasure for their next generations.

Check out the show links here: https://www.cffoxvalley.org/podcast/greshams-hope/

E-CPR: Help for Emotional Crisis

E-CPR: Help for Emotional Crisis

June 23, 2022

We’ve probably all faced an emotional crisis. Something that rocks our world and sends us into a feeling of despair. Just in the last two years alone, people have experienced increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and uncertainty. It's that collective trauma of living in a world that is no longer predictable.

The growing need for emotional support is urgent. In this episode we’re going to talk about a program in the Fox Valley called e-CPR, and, like CPR, it can be a lifesaver. E-CPR is a community education workshop that teaches people how to support another person experiencing an emotional crisis.


Program resources, links, and more at  https://www.cffoxvalley.org/podcast/e-cpr-help-for-emotional-crisis/

Memory Link: Navigating Memory Loss

Memory Link: Navigating Memory Loss

June 8, 2022

In 2015, it was estimated that 115,000 people in Wisconsin had dementia. By 2040, that number is expected to increase to 242,000 people with dementia, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. 

Kaukauna native J.J. Smith met his wife Joyce in the Air Force nearly 60 years ago and were looking for resources to help with Joyce’s memory loss. “Sometimes it’s frustrating for me,” says J.J. The couple became involved with the Fox Valley Memory Project and are excited for its newest program, Memory Link, launched in April. . 

Thanks to a federal grant of nearly $1 million and generous support from the Community Foundation and other donors, the Fox Valley Memory Project’s Memory Link program received the initial funding to begin providing free personal support and resources to people living at home with memory loss and their caregivers in Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago and Waupaca Counties.  

The organization hired two resource navigators to offer a compassionate ear for families to use as a sounding board and offers resources and easy solutions for them to try with their loved ones, so they don’t have to bear the weight of their dementia journey alone.  


More here at:  https://www.cffoxvalley.org/podcast/memory-link-navigating-memory-loss/

Care in Action: Community Crisis Response Part 2

Care in Action: Community Crisis Response Part 2

May 25, 2022

In this episode, we continue our conversation about how a new two-year pilot program is embedding an Outagamie County clinical therapist within the Appleton Police Department to improve the way first responders handle crisis situations involving mental health. The idea is to have the therapist immediately available as a co-first responder to mental health crisis when law enforcement are called. How has the program made an impact in Appleton? Is it safe for the therapist? What have we learned so far?

We'll hear from the therapist and two members of the Appleton Police Department, as well as the Director of the Division of Suicide Prevention at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, who is one of the many experts our Community Crisis Response Team heard from as we put this pilot program together.

This program has been two years in the making, and the planning took the expertise, collaboration, and support from a lot of people convened around the table, now the Community Crisis Response Team. Their goal is to help community members access the appropriate level of care by providing on-site clinical evaluations and risk assessments for those experiencing a mental health crisis. The Community Crisis Response Team's primary mission is to help community members access the appropriate level of care by providing on-site clinical evaluations and risk assessments for those experiencing a mental health crisis. 

The pilot program received a $25,000 grant from the Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation. The clinical therapist is the first of its kind at the department and is improving the way responders can provide critical services to a person in crisis. 

Learn more and get the episode links here:  https://www.cffoxvalley.org/podcast/care-in-action-community-crisis-response-part-2/

Community Crisis Response

Community Crisis Response

May 11, 2022

The challenge and complexity of mental health issues in our community is growing and – since the onset of the COVID pandemic – has now reached a critical stage. How do we as a community respond to and provide help to people in the middle of a crisis? 

The Appleton Police Department and Outagamie County Health and Human Services recently launched a new two-year pilot program that is taking a unique look at mental health situations and how to help respond when people are experiencing a mental health crisis. A few weeks ago the program embedded a clinical therapist into the police department to respond to calls.

This pilot program has been two years in the making, and the planning took the expertise, collaboration, and support from a lot of people convened around the table, now the Community Crisis Response Team. Their goal is to help community members access the appropriate level of care by providing on-site clinical evaluations and risk assessments for those experiencing a mental health crisis. We had a chance to gather some members of that team for a conversation about how this pilot came to be, what we’ve learned so far, and the difference it’s already making in just a few weeks.

Check out our resources at  https://www.cffoxvalley.org/loop/2022/05/11/a-new-approach-community-crisis-response-to-mental-health/

Strengthening Our Nonprofits

Strengthening Our Nonprofits

April 26, 2022

How do we make our local nonprofit organizations in the Fox Valley strong and equip their leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to serve our community? We take our leaders to school! The idea is to build better leaders so that together we can build a better community.

Leadership Institute is an innovative programs offered through our Nonprofit Leadership Initiative, and last week 15 local leaders already working in their professional capacity at their nonprofit organizations graduated from the year-long program. We couldn't be more excited for them. Listen now to hear from the students, and the people who make the Leadership Institute run:

More show notes on our website at  https://www.cffoxvalley.org/podcast/strengthening-our-nonprofits/ 

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