‘Care Box Challenge’ Raises Nearly $3.4M In Its First 100 Days

“The response that we’ve gotten from the public has been tremendous,” Second Harvest CEO says
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 6:06 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The “Care Box Challenge” and other COVID-19 fundraising efforts supporting Southern Wisconsin families raised $3.354 million during the campaign’s First 100 Days.

WMTV NBC15 and Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin launched the “Care Box Challenge” in a matter of days, in response to the cancellation of schools and the closure of many area businesses due to the Coronovirus pandemic. A donation of $10 or more fills a “Care Box” with healthy, fresh food and other non-perishable staples for families facing food insecurity.

“I should never underestimate the generosity of our viewers,” said Don Vesely, vice president and general manager of WMTV NBC15. “Our goal of $1 Million seemed to be a stretch for a first-time fundraising effort. To finish more than three times higher made an impact on our community.”

Volunteer putting together Care Boxes at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. (WMTV)
Volunteer putting together Care Boxes at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. (WMTV)(NBC15)

The campaign kicked off March 19 with a challenge—the first $25,000 raised was matched by the Alliant Energy Foundation. By Monday evening, March 23, the effort had raised $248,000 and the giving continued. National Guardian Life; The Evjue Foundation, which is the charitable arm of The Capital Times; and an anonymous donor, also provided matches during the campaign’s First 100 Days, marked on June 26.

At launch time, Second Harvest staff anticipated that it would need to distribute 100,000 boxes of food over a 6-8 week period to those in need. The need exceeded that original estimate— 246,787 Care Boxes were distributed through June 26.

The number of our neighbors who need help during this unprecedented time is greater than we imagined. We are grateful for the generosity of our community, and appreciate your continued support of the Care Box campaign. To help those in need, visit NBC15.com, or donate directly HERE.

Second Harvest Foodbank serves 16 counties and partners with more than 225 programs and agencies in Southern Wisconsin.

WMTV serves as south central Wisconsin’s NBC and CW affiliates, and is owned by Gray Television.

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