WAUKESHA - — Giving Tuesday doesn't always mean you have to reach for your wallet. You can give your time or put your talents to work. Small businesses in Waukesha are leading the way, encouraging everyone to support the United for Waukesha Community Fund.
The money raised by the fund is housed within the Waukesha County Community Foundation. A committee of people, which includes the mayor's office, the county executive's office, the school district, and community organizations, will decide how funds will be given out. The money will go to victims and people affected by the Christmas parade tragedy.
The Coop does breakfast, and they do it well. The Waukesha restaurant decided to lean on that strength and donate a day's proceeds to the Waukesha fund. The final amount topped $16,000, doubling what the co-owner expected. "We're a small business, just selling eggs and bacon, you know what I mean?" said Joseph Sifnaios, Co-owner of The Coop. "That was just crazy. Just humbling."
On Giving Tuesday, staff at John's Root Beer and Sal's Pizza Shop will be using their talents to fill stomachs while filling up the fund. Each is donating part of the day's sales.
Another small business owner, Lucky One Baking Co., jumped at the chance to get involved. "I wanted to create something that was a way I could help — and that other people could get involved," said owner Haley Tushaus. "I make decorated cookies and we figured out a sale that basically (works like this), you get cookies, and all the money goes to the foundation."
The warmth of the Waukesha community rivals a freshly baked cookie. It seems everyone is doing what they can to help. That includes Craig Husar, the owner of Craig Husar Fine Diamond and Jewelry Design.
"We're donating a portion of all of our watch and jewelry purchases from now until Christmas," said Husar. "I've already pledged a $5,000 minimum donation to the United for Waukesha Fund and I look forward to that amount growing and growing as we move forward."
Waukesha's mayor, Shawn Reilly, says the need is great but so is the generosity he's seeing.
"Some of the restaurants are even asking for volunteer servers because they know they're going to be so busy. I know that some of the restaurants have had lines where you have to wait 45 minutes to get to the counter. It tells me that both the businesses and the community really truly want to help," added Reilly.
Go to the Waukesha County Community Foundation's Facebook page to see a running list of businesses and organizations that are supporting the fund in unique ways.