Our mission is to wipe away the tears of hunger and to replace them with a glimmer of hope in the eyes of the needy.
The need America is still the richest country in the world. Cell phones, personal computers, cable television are commonplace. For the first time in our history, Americans, on average, own more than one car per licensed driver. Yet, for various reasons, the need for emergency food services has gone up dramatically over the last several years. Food pantries across the United States are now seeing people with one or two full-time jobs who need help to provide meals to their families. The number of food pantries that contact Buckets for money or to get involved in our food pantry challenge has grown each year. In the last quarter of 2008, Buckets has reported that pantries throughout the state of Wisconsin have seen substantial increases in requests for food due to the economic downturn. Unfortunately, most food pantries are also reporting a marked decrease in donations due to a suffering business and job environment.
Our response Buckets for Hunger, Incorporated, was started in 1995 with a handful of volunteers who put on a celebrity basketball game and a raffle of sports memorabilia. The event raised $3,000 for local food pantries. We then held an auction, a tournament and the celebrity game the next year and brought in $7,000 for the fight against hunger. Since then, Buckets has run basketball clinics with Michael Finley of NBA fame, live and silent auctions of sports memorabilia, "meet the legends" party nights and has brought on corporate sponsors including Mass Mutual Financial Group/Strategic Wealth Management Group, Continuum Investment Partners, Alliant Energy, WIBA AM radio and ESPN 1070 radio. Together with the generosity of these corporate sponsors, the athletes, the volunteers and the supporters of the Buckets initiative, Buckets has helped raise over $ $1,500,000 in grants which equates to over 10,000,000 pounds of food for the needy. And all of this has been accomplished with VOLUNTEER service. Buckets has never had any paid staff of any kind in its entire history.The now slightly larger group of volunteers has never received any money for the time that they spend helping people that they will never meet.