I really like the idea of ending the week on a positive note, so let me start by again saying thank you! Thank you for staying home, for maintaining social distancing, washing your hands regularly and wearing a face covering when you need to go out. We are flattening the curve, especially here in Dane County and it is because of all of you!

Speaking of face coverings, a couple of weeks ago, I asked for donations of homemade face coverings, to share with City employees and others. You have answered the call! As you can see from the photo, we have hundreds of handmade masks in a variety of great fabrics. You can continue to drop them off at Fire Stations 2 and 8. They are all washed before being distributed, so do not include any type of paper filter in them. The masks will be put to good use. Any we do not use here at the City, we will share with our partners who are serving the homeless, delivering food, and helping our communities in other ways.

Donated face coveringsEveryone likes to be thanked, so I thought I would share a recent example of a great note. It was titles “Our Love for City of Madison Water Employees” and the sender enclosed a $20 bill. The note read: “You are our heros (sic) too! Be strong like lions for us. (With a sticker of a lion) Pizza for lunchroom. Put this in your draft fund. We are essential also….Lucky to be working and SO thankful for you and our 30 minute hot showers at the end of our shifts. Bless all of you.” The utility donated the money to the Dane County Humane Society to thank them for their work!

I also want to share a number of opportunities for activities you may not have thought of. Why not try some of them? Madison Parks is teaming up with Madison School and Community Recreation (MSCR) to bring you Let’s Move it Madison. Challenge yourself and friend, earn points for your efforts and in turn, earn some prizes!

How about a Pandemic Pen Pal? It’s a wonderful program established by the Madison Senior Center to match volunteers with elderly residents who are often quite isolated. You can communicate the old-fashioned way with letters or if possible email.

How about a virtual club, complete with a DJ? Madison365 told us about that opportunity. Thank you DJ Chamo for your live streaming on Friday and Saturday evenings!

When is the last time you have visited the Chazen Museum? You have a chance to do so next Friday through Badger Talks Live. Organizers describe it as a Facebook Live series intended to pleasantly distract, help you cope and stay engaged during these challenging times. That sounds like something we all can use!

Want to get out of the house while maintaining social distances? Take a drive out to enjoy Flight of Lights. Flight of Lights is a free, drive-through light display along International Lane at Dane County Regional Airport in Madison.

And we all can use some calming relaxation during this stressful time. You can tune into a Meditation Retreat at Monona Terrace this Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

I love learning about how we are reaching out and helping others. Madison365 shared a story about A Fund for Women taking action to help those in need during this pandemic. They are providing grants to four local non-profits.

In addition, local sheet-metal workers are making nose clips for masks for first responders, front line workers and others. You can learn more about their efforts here.

In a previous blog, I provided some resources for those who may be struggling emotionally and otherwise during this pandemic. I have since learned of other opportunities for help and support that I want to share. They are listed below. The first three focus on domestic violence work.

Freedom Inc




Here is our 24 hour/helpline


  • Freedom Inc serves Hmong, Black, Khmer victims and survivors of domestic and sexual violence. They also have Queer/LGBTQI specific services.

Project Respect

608-283-6435 (after hours emergency press ext. 12)




24/7 helpline 1800-510-9195 or 608-256-9195,


Safe Communities 24-7 Recovery Coach Helpline

(608) 228-1278

If incarcerated, call 888-811-3689 x 1

email: referral@safercommunity.net

A new 24/7 helpline is available for Dane County residents thinking about using alcohol and/or other substances or struggling with substance use issues during the coronavirus epidemic. For help, call (608) 228-1278. Calls are free. No insurance is needed. This service, sponsored by the nonprofit Safe Communities, is for previous alcohol and/or other substance users, those now in treatment or those tempted to start, and those concerned about a loved one. Callers talk confidentially with Recovery Coaches who are not professional therapists but in long-term recovery from their own alcohol or other substance use and have training in how to help others as advocates, peers and confidantes.

It is often hard to reach out for help, but know you are not alone and during this difficult time, we can all use a little extra love and support. Please make sure to maintain social distances though, and stay well!

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.