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WRFW raises funds for foster care

December 5, 2013

With 500,000 children enrolled in the United States’ foster care system, there are no shortage of those foster children that need aid. Together We Rise (TWR), a nonprofit organization, has the goal of helping kids in foster care around the country. The UW-River Falls campus radio station, 88.7 FM WRFW, will be airing a fundraiser from Dec. 8, through Dec. 13, that will raise funds for TWR to continue to help children in foster care in a variety of ways.

Some of the ways that TWR helps foster children are through camps, mentoring and other unique programs. These programs include Build-a-Bike and Sweetcases. The Build-a-Bike program allows foster children the experience of utilizing parts and tools to build a bike for their own personal use.

Sweetcases also provides positive opportunity for foster children by giving them a duffel bag filled with items like toothbrushes and stuffed animals; in place of the plastic trash bags they are normally provided when first enrolled in foster care.

The charity also works towards an easier transition from foster care to becoming a functional member of society. According to TWR, one in three foster children after one year of turning 18-years-old (the cut-off age for foster care) go homeless.

This statistic led to the organization finding ways to ease the transition such as teaching them about necessities to society like obtaining a drivers license and health insurance.

This organization has made a huge difference across the United States. One unique thing about TWR is that unlike some nonprofit organizations 100 percent of all donations go directly to foster children. This is possible as they are ran by all unpaid interns under the age of 25. As a 2012 Do Something Award finalist for the creation and continuation of TWR, Danny Mendoza, the founder of TWR, has worked hard to voice the difference that can be made helping foster children.

From an on-campus standpoint, TWR and WRFW are working together to inform the UWRF and the River Falls community of the organization’s goals.

The current project goal of WRFW is to contribute funds towards scholarships for foster children. This is a growing issue as only 3 percent of foster children graduate from college, according to togethwerise.org.

Within WRFW the entire staff is working toward aiding TWR in their cause. WRFW Program Director Paul Langfellow has been working with WRFW’s DJs.

“Most of our DJs love getting the chance to help out with these types of special events and we have all been very excited in the result,” Langfellow said.

Langfellow also expressed his hopes for the event and its effects on campus.

“On most commercial stations you would not find an event such as ours, but since we are public radio we have the special opportunity of using our radio waves for something positive like this,” Langfellow said.

WRFW’s Ryan Tibbitts, an intern for TWR and advocate of this fundraising event, will kick off the main part of the fundraising event on his radio show, Study Break, on Monday, Dec. 9, with a live performance by Twin Cities band MANALIVE from 3-5 p.m.

MANALIVE is a band that consists of mainly full-time college students who had an interest in helping the community.

“MANALIVE decided to support this event, because we saw this as a great opportunity to showcase our talents for Together We Rise’s cause,” said MANALIVE guitarist Adam Hendren. “We hope not only to reach the station’s fundraising goal but exceed it through UWRF’s dedicated listeners, families, friends and fans.”

Throughout the fundraising event, WRFW’s DJs are afforded the opportunity to discuss TWR and its goals with the idea of spreading the word and providing a way in which listeners can donate to the cause. The donation goal sits at $500, which will go towards one scholarship for a Wisconsin resident foster child. The long term goal is to reach $1,000 to provide two scholarships for Wisconsin resident foster children. All donations will be received by TWR and used by TWR’s unpaid interns to bring hope to foster children.

Donations may be mailed to WRFW at 306 North Hall 410 S Third Street River Falls, Wis., 54022 or made on the fundraising page http://www.togetherwerise.org/fundraise/FosteringaFuture. For more information on the event and/or TWR contact Ryan Tibbitts at ryan.tibbitts@my.uwrf.edu.