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October 24, 2019


ThedaCare and Volunteer Fox Cities Teaming Up to Support Volunteerism

October 24, 2019


ThedaCare and Volunteer Fox Cities Teaming Up to Support Volunteerism

APPLETON, Wis. – Make a Difference Day was established in 1992 to emphasize the value of collaboration, community service and volunteerism. This year’s Fox Cities celebration will include an added twist, as Volunteer Fox Cities and ThedaCare team up on Saturday, October 26, from 8 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to organize a fleet of friendship and support in seven different communities.

“We enjoy being involved with events that bring excitement to volunteering for our team members,” said Jean Blaney McGinnis, Employee Volunteer Program Specialist for ThedaCare. “It’s important that we help connect people and organizations, promote civic engagement and build community pride.

Appleton, Berlin, Neenah, New London, Shawano, Waupaca and Wild Rose will all be visited by a team of volunteers on a Mystery Give Back Bus. The volunteer teams on the buses will primarily be comprised of employees and family members from Make a Difference Day program sponsors: Aerotek, Capital Credit Union, Cellcom, Faith Technologies, First Business Bank, JJ Keller Foundation, ThedaCare, and US Venture, and in-kind sponsors 4imprint, Coalesce Marketing, Lamers Bus Lines, Kobussen Buses and Thundera Multimedia.

The first Fox Cities Give Back Bus was pioneered by members of 2017 Leadership Fox Cities, a community-based professional development program which is part of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with The Volunteer Center (now Volunteer Fox Cities) in Appleton.

“We receive such positive feedback from our volunteers and sponsors after they’ve had a Give Back Bus experience,” said Susan Vanden Heuvel, executive director at Volunteer Fox Cities, the Give Back Buses. “It infuses a whole new level of enthusiasm and energy into the idea of service in the community, so it’s a perfect fit for Make a Difference Day.”

On Oct. 26, a Give Back Bus will be parked in each community’s ThedaCare hospital parking lot at 8 a.m., where pre-registered volunteers will gather for a short orientation before heading out to the pre-arranged volunteer project.

“We will announce our destination only as we arrive at the non-profit,” said McGinnis. “The mystery is part of what makes it an especially upbeat, team experience.”

Each bus will travel to a local non-profit that positively impacts area youth. According to McGinnis, this coincides with one of ThedaCare’s community health improvement priorities to support healthy early childhood and youth development. The buses will return to their respective hospital parking lots by noon.

A limited number of seats are available to members of the general public. Pre-registration is required. To learn more, or to register, please go to

Media is invited to join the event. To coordinate a time for interviews at one of the nonprofit volunteer sites, please contact Susan Vanden Heuvel Executive Director, Volunteer Fox Cities, at 920.832.9360 or email Please do not arrive at a hospital location.

Itinerary for Make a Difference Day

  • 7:45 a.m. – Bus arrives at designated hospital location
  • 8:00 a.m. – Registration
  • 8:15 a.m. – Board bus
  • 8:30 – 8:40 a.m. – Arrive at volunteer site
  • 8:45 – 11:45 a.m. – Volunteer time
  • 12:00 p.m. – Return to designated hospital location

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to a community of more than 600,000 residents in 14 counties and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals. ThedaCare has 180 locations including seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, New London, Shawano, Waupaca and Wild Rose. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

About Volunteer Fox Cities

Volunteer Fox Cities connects volunteers to community needs in the Fox Cities region through outreach and education. Please visit for more information. If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview please call Volunteer Fox Cities at 920-832-9360 or email