American Family Insurance, Brewers Community Foundation partner on $200,000 donation to bridge digital divide for families at Milwaukee Public Schools
Donation is largest corporate to-date for #ConnectMilwaukee fundraising campaign.
American Family Insurance and Brewers Community Foundation, the charitable arm of the Milwaukee Brewers, announced today they will make a joint $200,000 donation to the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) Foundation #ConnectMilwaukee initiative. The initiative will provide internet access and equipment to thousands of Milwaukee Public School students and families as virtual learning continues into the new school year.
The $200,000 is the largest corporate donation to #ConnectMilwaukee and allows it to surpass its fundraising goal of $1 million.
The American Family donation underscores the company’s pledge to increase its community involvement and investment in Milwaukee, following its partnership and naming rights agreement with the Brewers announced in January 2019. The Brewers Community Foundation donation accompanies the club’s fourth annual #KindnessInMKE initiative taking place tomorrow, Aug. 28, an effort where everyone connected to the Brewers organization – players, staff and fans – pause during the day to take part in spreading kindness and making a positive impact in the community, virtually or from afar.
“American Family has made a commitment to supporting equity in education and promoting economic opportunity for all, and the city of Milwaukee is a particular focus for us,” said Bill Westrate, American Family enterprise president.
“The pandemic creates even more challenges for disadvantaged families, including a lack of access to technology as their children begin a new school year with virtual learning as their only option,” Westrate said. “We’re honored to join MPS and the Brewers to address this need.”
“We are proud to work with American Family to directly impact the children and families of Milwaukee, during a time in which so many have experienced life changes due to COVID-19. As an organization, we are invested in and care about our community and our fans, and are pleased to have partners who share in our passion,” said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers president – business operations.
Thousands of MPS students and families do not have internet access at home, making the required shift to a virtual classroom setting nearly impossible. Meeting the $1 million goal of #ConnectMilwaukee ensures that the basic needs will be met for MPS students, with every student now having internet access and a laptop. Fans interested in joining the effort are encouraged to contribute to Brewers Community Foundation or send money directly to MPS Foundation.
“We cannot thank American Family Insurance and Brewers Community Foundation enough for supporting our students and families during such a critical time,” said Wendell Willis, MPS Foundation executive director. “This is exactly the type of corporate leadership and action that Milwaukee needs right now – identifying an immediate need and having the conviction to finalize a solution. Their generous donation has allowed us to surpass our original $1million goal ahead of schedule and will ensure that every kid in MPS has internet access for online learning.”
“With this generous donation, Milwaukee Public Schools now has the necessary resources to successfully provide virtual instruction for all of the children that it serves,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. “American Family Insurance and the Brewers Community Foundation have been and continue to be outstanding corporate citizens in our city. I am thankful that they have chosen to invest in our young people and our education system during this very difficult time.”
American Family Insurance and its group companies, along with the American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation and Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, previously announced it will donate more than $6.8 million to support COVID-19 and related relief efforts.
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American Family (see top right)
Andy Nelson (for MPS Foundation)
About the American Family Insurance group
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, American Family Insurance has been serving customers since 1927. We inspire, protect and restore dreams through our insurance products, exceptional service from our agency owners and employees, community investment and creative partnerships to address societal challenges. We act on our belief in diversity and inclusion by constantly evolving to meet customer needs and preferences. American Family Insurance group is the nation’s 13th-largest property/casualty insurance group, ranking No. 254 on the Fortune 500 list. The group sells American Family-brand products, primarily through exclusive agency owners in 19 states. The American Family Insurance group also includes CONNECT, powered by American Family Insurance, The General, Homesite and Main Street America. Across these companies the group has more than 13,500 employees nationwide.
About Brewers Community Foundation (BCF)
BCF harnesses the pride, passion and commitment of Brewers fans, players and other supporters to positively impact the lives of children and their families in the Greater Milwaukee area and throughout Wisconsin. Over the past ten years, BCF has generated more than $42 million to support local nonprofits in the areas of health, education, recreation and basic needs. In 2019, approximately 200 nonprofit organizations received funding through the Foundation’s initiatives. For more information about Brewers Community Foundation, please visit brewers.com/BCF.
About the MPS Foundation
The MPS Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit that collaborates with corporations, foundations, and individuals to provide philanthropic support for students, schools, and district programs in an effort to expand and enhance academic achievement for all MPS students. MPS serves over 75,000 students in 149 schools across Milwaukee. www.mpsfdn.org