Feeding children all year

With the help of Hausmann-Johnson Insurance reaching their goal of 500 votes + shares,  Blessings in a Backpack won a $10,000 donation from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance to further their mission of providing food security for hungry children in the community. Congrats to the team and thank you for supporting them!

In Waukesha County, Wisconsin, while school meal programs provide food to children during the week, food-insecure families often cannot provide nutritious food on weekends. Roughly 15,000 children are at risk of facing hunger on weekends throughout the county. Blessings in a Backpack Waukesha County (BIABWC) aims to fill these gaps.

Historically, BIABWC has organized large bag-filling events, where volunteers and donors come together to fill bags of food to redistribute to hungry children. Hausmann-Johnson Insurance, located in Madison and Pewaukee, Wisconsin, has been involved in these events since 2017 and continues to work closely with the organization.

Feeding children all year

Before COVID, Hausmann-Johnson was a big supporter and participant in the FatHead Golf Event to benefit Blessings in a Backpack Waukesha County. Hausmann-Johnson principal and agent Diana Schmidt is also the Vice President of BIABWC’s Board of Directors and long-time volunteer at Bag Fill events.

Changes in the wake of COVID-19

In the summer of 2020, COVID-19 forced BIABWC to cancel their usual events, a particularly stressful hiccup because the organization was simultaneously ramping up to extend food distribution beyond the school year and into summer break. This made it more important than ever to work with partners like Hausmann-Johnson Insurance to organize successful alternatives.

‘We still needed to get bags filled for these kids!’

—Diana Schmidt, agent and principal at Hausmann-Johnson Insurance and Vice President of BIABWC Board of Directors

“As a group, we pivoted our thinking and began offering bag-filling volunteers the opportunity to host their own ‘at-home’ bag-filling events,” said Schmidt. Each at-home kit allowed for 240 packed bags of food, and the at-home food collection wound up being a huge success.

Feeding children all year 4
Schmidt virtually presents a donation check from Hausmann-Johnson Thanksbidding Online Charity Auction to Blessings in a Backpack Waukesha County.

Developing donation alternatives

In addition to at-home bag-filling events, Hausmann-Johnson Insurance supported Diana’s other initiatives to help BIABWC throughout 2020. This included a personal Giving Tuesday Facebook campaign that raised $640, a golf event that raised another $600 and a donation request to a local church that brought forth an additional $1,000.

The agency’s biggest contribution came from their Thanksbidding Online Charity Auction in November 2020, which brought in $5,675 for BIABWC. “Everyone at the agency was encouraged to donate, bid, and solicit auction items and sponsorships from local businesses, clients and business partners,” said Schmidt, who filmed a promotional video to further foster participation.

Feeding children all year 5
Four members of the BIABWC Board of Directors and volunteers fill bags and raise awareness for Blessings in a Backpack Waukesha County on February 12, 2021.

Funding for the future

BIABWC faces additional challenges due to COVID-19. Food manufacturers that previously worked with the organization shifted their focus from creating individual-sized items to family-sized. The supply chain has also faced interruptions, making it harder to deliver food on time.

Feeding children all year 2Schmidt’s family even pitched in to help with the at-home bag fill drives,
a new type of volunteer event she helped develop in response to COVID-19.

And losing the larger bag-filling events was a serious blow: “We’ve since shifted to purchasing pre-packed bags of food that come ready to distribute,” Schmidt said. “This is convenient, but we lose community engagement and word-of-mouth marketing that traditional bag-fill events provided BIABWC as an organization.”

‘Food is an essential building block, and in this case, it’s truly a blessing, especially to a hungry child!’

—Nancy Major, managing director at Blessings in a Backpack Waukesha County

The 2021 Make More Happen Award includes a donation of up to $10,000 from Liberty Mutual and Safeco on behalf of Hausmann-Johnson Insurance, which would help provide over 2,500 hunger-free weekends to children in Waukesha County.

Feeding children all year 10
The Make More Happen Award will go toward purchasing more food for BIABWC Bag Fill events to prevent childhood hunger in Waukasha County, Wisconsin.

“It costs about $4 a week to feed a child through this program,” said Nancy Major, managing director of BIABWC. “The results? Nourished kids ready to learn. Food is an essential building block, and in this case, it’s truly a blessing, especially to a hungry child!”

Vote for this story and help Hausmann-Johnson win $10,000 to feed more kids in partnership with Blessings in a Backpack Waukesha County. Use the social media share buttons to add it to your feed, or simply leave a comment below to cheer them on. Then head over to their websites to learn more about Blessings in a Backpack Waukesha County and Hausmann-Johnson Insurance.

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Dana Dossett
9 months ago

This is an awesome example of how to make a difference in the world!

Marie M.
9 months ago

What an amazing organization impacting the lives of our youth!

Cassie Hopkins
9 months ago

I’m really proud of Diana for representing our WHY so perfectly in her everyday life. Happy to support Blessings 🙂

9 months ago

Diana does so much for Blessings in a Backpack – I’m so glad her efforts are being recognized! We’re proud to support this organizations and its mission.

Terry Murawski
9 months ago

An amazing mission, helping so many in need! Way to go team!!

9 months ago

This is just another reason why Diana, is an absolute rock star! We’re proud to support Blessings and its mission.

Jason Lane
9 months ago

A great example of how we can all make a difference supporting the communities we live and work in!! Thanks Diana!

Ivan T
9 months ago

Great way to make a difference!

Amy Esry
9 months ago

Thank you Diana and all of the volunteers in this program. What a wonderful way to support the kids in our community!

Jesse H.
9 months ago

This is such a great cause! I am glad to see the recognition you all have received.

Christine File
9 months ago

What an awesome story! Di has been committed to BIABWC since I started at our organization in 2017. It’s so great to see the difference being made in the community, and how the organization is morphing to meet its mission. We are proud to partner with BIABWC and are proud to have Di on our team!

Susan Dorsch
9 months ago

So much hard work by this group! So proud of all of you for making such a difference.

Melissa Schultz
9 months ago

Way to go Diana for raising money for a worthy cause!

Jon Templin
9 months ago

Very proud to work with you and appreciate all you do for a great cause, Diana!

Becky C
9 months ago

Way to be an inspiration, Diana!

Sue B
9 months ago

What a fantastic way to make a difference in the lives of these families! Bravo!!

Emilee Mullranin
9 months ago

amazing mission, great way of making a difference!

Eric Olson
9 months ago

Di – in these troubled times you bring Hope and security to our most vulnerable!! Awesome job !! So Proud of you and your whole organization!!

Brad Eckerdt
9 months ago

Awesome organization that is making a real difference in the community!

Nancy Major
9 months ago

Diana Schmidt, thank you so much for all that you do for Blessings!

Jane LeCompte
9 months ago

I am so proud of Diana for her leadership in providing these blessings!

David LeCompte
9 months ago

So proud of your Efforts Diana. Keep up the good work!

9 months ago

What a great initiative and I love the ways you guys adapted to overcome challenges brought on by COVID. Go team!

9 months ago

Thanks Diana for all you do in feeding kids on the weekends! Let’s do this!!

Lynn Corazzi
9 months ago

Am looking forward to getting more involved with this incredible cause!

Andrew S
9 months ago

Awesome work Diana!

Angela Bonner
9 months ago

Such a wonderful mission!

Sam Williams
9 months ago

What an awesome thing you’re doing Di! Keep up the great work in your community.

Robin R.
9 months ago

Blessings Waukesha County has my vote!

Barry Richter
9 months ago

We are so proud of you Di!! What resilience and strength you and BIABWC have shown to adapt and help children in need during difficult times!!

9 months ago

What a wonderful way to support children and families! Thank you for this meaningful work!

Diana Schmidt
9 months ago

Thank you Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance – The Make More Happen Awards are such an amazing opportunity to give back!

Jim Ahearn
9 months ago

So cool Di! Amazing work you and Blessings in a Backpack are doing!

Ben Stefonik
9 months ago

I commend you for your efforts to make a difference and help those in need.

Rebecca Melgares
9 months ago

I am so fortunate to work side by side with Diana on the Blessings Board! I am inspired by Diana’s commitment to our mission and thankful to Haussmann-Johnson Insurance for their support of Diana and Blessings!

Dee Weiss
9 months ago

What a beautiful mission to help so many! Great job!!

9 months ago

Way to go Diana! What a great organization!

Peter L Kolesari
9 months ago

Tremendous work, Diana!

Last edited 9 months ago by Peter L Kolesari
Ann L Ahearn
9 months ago

Thank you so much for helping kids in need. I’m a retired teacher and know how much these backpacks will mean to the children. They make a huge difference.

9 months ago

What an inspiration of how even kids can pitch in to help other kids. Thank you for your kindness in Waukesha County

Tami Mullranin
9 months ago

Diana, I love watching you share your amazing heart with so many especially our youth.

9 months ago

This is amazing!

Laura Hartman
9 months ago

What an amazing program and blessing to all that receive them.

9 months ago

Great cause, thank you for supporting kids who need it.

Sheila Petasek
9 months ago

I work at a school in Waukesha that receives Blessings and the students are so excited when they see the bag in their backpack on Friday afternoon! We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner with Blessings in a Backpack!

Laurie K.
9 months ago

Terrific way to bless our neighbors.

9 months ago

So proud of you Diana! I’m so happy to support your amazing work and all you do for Hausmann Johnson and Blessings in a Backpack!

Megan Bailey
9 months ago

What an amazing program!

Theresa E.
9 months ago

Blessings is a wonderful program. The school I work at receives them and they students love having them. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.

Amanda Busche
9 months ago

Diana, your help with Blessings in a Backpack is a great way to give back, and I love the example you set. I am so happy to have met you along the way!

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