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There are still #GoodThingsBrewing in Milwaukee

Your Twitter feed might not leave you much reason to hope today, so we thought we'd share a few stories of Milwaukeeans coming together to support one another and local businesses during this tremendously difficult time. Check back often because we’ll keep adding the goodness as often as possible. 

COMING TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY

  • The Wisconsin Quilt & Fiber Art Museum, one of the most cherished niche museums in the region, has struck creative gold with its quarantine quilt project. The Museum is encouraging crafters stuck at home to create one 12 x 12 in. quilt square and mail it to the Museum, which will use it to create a large-scale community quilt to be displayed at the museum.
  • #MICMKE was organized as a virtual open mic night for a creative outlet
  • Z2 Marketing has launched The Underground Online Music Series, which offers a series of live performances from local musicians on Facebook Live. A Go Fund Me campaign has also been set up to help support the artists who perform. 
  • DJ Shawna, an uber popular local DJ and producer, is hosting a daily color-and-chat session on Facebook live. 
  • Jazz in the Park may be starting a week later than usual, but that doesn’t mean you won’t hear any jazz. The folks behind the popular concert series posted a Spotify playlist for your sonic pleasure. 
  • Milwaukeeans heeded the call of the Wisconsin Humane Society! In just five days 319 animals were either adopted or fostered, making valuable room for animals potentially impacted in this crisis. 
  • ​The Milwaukee Ballet’s costume shop has started making masks for community members so that they stop touching their faces and helping to stem the spread of COVID-19.
  • We could all use a laugh these days and the Bay View neighborhood has stepped up to the plate. Over the weekend, neighbors organized a dinosaur parade to lift the spirits of those watching from their homes.
  • In that same vein, two local moms are bringing a little levity to Milwaukee by posting hilarious, content from their vantage point at home with kids.
  • Newaukee has created a series of virtual events called the Cloud Cafe to connect young professionals from the comfort of their home offices.
  • Fees have been waived for all state parks and trails so you can get a little fresh air, but social distancing is still required. 
  • A private donor gifted a six-figure sum to the Sherman Phoenix so that its 27 tenants may stay afloat for at least the next two months. 
  • Danceworks is offering virtual dance classes to relieve some stress at home. 
  • On the evening of March 24, downtown buildings like Northwestern Mutual’s tower and Gaslight Building were lit in red, white, and blue as a sign of hope for the community.
  • Water Street Brewery Hospitality Group is taking an innovative, hilarious approach to earning tips for its workers. 
  • Sprecher dropped off 360 cases of their famous root beer and sparkling water to keep the men and women of the Milwaukee Fire Department hydrated.
  • Imagine MKE has nearly reached its goal of $50,000 raised to be used as an artist relief fund for local artists. Help them reach the milestone here.
  • Ultimate Confections has begun delivering boxes of chocolates to local hospital emergency rooms and other first-responder locations.
  • On March 27, the Salvation Army of Milwaukee County provided meals to hospital associates at Ascension Columbia St. Mary's Hospital Milwaukee. You can donate to Salvation Army’s programs here. 
  • Milwaukee County Transit System will suspend fare collection beginning Saturday, March 28. This is intended to keep both bus drivers and passengers as safe as possible.
  • The UCC’s Latino Arts is doing a host of awesome things to make its offerings virtual and bring positive vibes to the community. These initiatives include a Spotify playlist cultural art tutorials in English and Spanish, a virtual art cafe, and more.

HELPING THOSE IN NEED

  • Central Standard Craft Distillery usually makes delectable spirits, but is putting those talents to a slightly different use. They're now creating bottles of sprayable hand sanitizer from vodka, and giving the hand sanitizer away for free to at-risk groups like nursing homes, homeless shelters, first responders, and food banks. We'll drink to that.
  • Milwaukee's hospitality community has already been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Seeking to help fill employment gaps, locals have created a Facebook group that seeks to connect out-of-work service industry members with odd jobs. With nearly 3,000 members, the group is already beginning to share success stories, like the former pub employee who has been able to earn extra cash detailing cars through the help of this group.
  • Stone Creek Coffee, the Pfister Hotel, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, Saz's Hospitality Group, and the Milwaukee Public Market are all donating perishable food to Milwaukee food banks. It's wonderful to see the hospitality community continuing to contribute to those who need it most.
  • Families are posting signs in their neighborhood letting others know they can help. This is just one of what is likely thousands of Milwaukee families directly supporting their neighbors. Kimberley Bayer posted signs in her neighborhood offering to support those on her block by doing grocery shopping, making meals, or simply checking in daily with phone calls. It's gestures like this that can mean the most to those with the fewest resources. More examples are coming out about neighbors helping each other every day!
  • The entire Bucks roster is donating money to help Fiserv Forum workers
  • The Milwaukee Brewers are donating $1 million to assist ballpark employees affected by delay to season
  • SC Johnson commits $5 million to support public needs during the coronavirus pandemic
  • Emerald City Catering has begun offering community meals, a limited supply of free meals, and pay-as-you-may meals, to assist people hit financially during this time.
  • The Beef Jerky Outlet is donating food regularly to those in need and supporting hundreds of other nonprofits in their missions. 
  • A local man’s birthday Go Fund Me fundraiser raised $18,000 to help local out-of-work service industry employees
  • Tips left at Nonfiction Wine in Bay View will go toward a different restaurant’s employees each day
  • Some of Milwaukee’s youth groups, whose work is critically important for fostering mentorship and community among Milwaukee’s young people, are getting creative in the way they’re connecting their members virtually. 
  • The Tandem, the Lindsay Heights soul food restaurant helmed by Caitlin Cullen, is giving away free meals to those in need. 
  • Other restaurants, like Lazy Susan, Bounce Milwaukee, and a handful of others, are getting especially creative to help stay afloat. One concept they’ve united behind is a gift card that appreciates in value over time for its buyer -- an idea that prevents restaurants from going under later if all of the gift cards purchased now were redeemed at the same time.
  • MSOE’s School of Nursing coordinated the efforts of nursing schools throughout Wisconsin to “Adopt a Hospital” and donate protective equipment like gloves and masks.
  • GE Healthcare, which is based in Chicago but has a presence in our region, plans to work “around the clock” to produce ventilators so that U.S. hospitals can keep up with demand spurred by COVID-19.
  • The Milwaukee Way Tech Hub has created a grant program for small businesses. Deadline to apply is March 30.
  • Amilinda, the wonderful Spanish/Portuguese restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue, is paying it forward. The purchase of a gift card also goes toward buying meals for hospitality workers whose livelihood has been affected by the pandemic. 
  • An opportunity for you to keep the good things brewings: Sip & Purr Cafe is requesting help sponsoring the homeless cats that provide free cuddles and purrs throughout the cafe during regular hours. 
  • Gannett, which owns many newspapers in the state including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, launched a new website that makes buying gift cards from local businesses very easy.
  • Wantable is using its fulfillment center to create and distribute face masks. 
  • Stone Creek Coffee announced today that they’re donating 500 lbs. of coffee to local hospital staff.
  • A Wauwatosa doctor asked family and friends to help source protective gear for healthcare workers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and received more than 400 items in a matter of days.
  • Miller Lite donated $1 million to help out-of-work bartenders.
  • An effort by 25 Milwaukee organizations dubbed the “Maskforce” has mobilized to produce personal protective equipment by the hundreds of thousands for nurses and doctors on the frontlines of the pandemic.
  • Breweries owned by Molson Coors will now make hand sanitizer in bulk.
  • Blackline Limousines is looking for ways to donate its drivers' time to help the community. If your organization could use Blackline's help, call 414-481-2599 for availability.  
  • Area distributor Beer Capitol is buying back unused kegs to help their bar customers during the crisis.
  • Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, announced a donation of more than $1.5 million to support its nonprofit partners nationwide in leading efforts to provide immediate relief in response to the effects of COVID-19. These grants will address the anticipated food and essential supply needs facing those in our communities.
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MAKING LIVES EASIER 

  • Don's Diner, a beloved, relatively new-but-retro-looking diner, is offering Milwaukee neighborhood-themed meal kits that also include household staples like toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and paper towel. It's a great example of local restaurants getting creative to meet these unique circumstances.
    • UPDATE: Don’s is also donating to the staff of other area restaurants, in case you needed another example of kindness in our amazingly tight-knit, supportive restaurant industry.
  • Boswell Book Company is delivering literature and offering curbside pickup
  • Local doughnut shop Cranky Al's has created a box of doughnuts with supplies to decorate them as a very sweet kid-friendly activity
  • The cocktail masters at Bittercube are offering online mixology classes!
  • Need more ways to occupy the kids or adults in your life? Splash Paint Studio is offering curbside pickup for its take-and-make craft projects!
  • Rare Steakhouse has added a service to its menu: butcher shop! Head to Rare for to-go food or to pick up curbside many different delicious cuts of beef.
  • One Milwaukee church is offering up drive-through blessings for those that lean on spirituality in trying times.
  • Want to show your friends, family or coworkers you miss them? Milwaukee Food & City Tours came up with a great solution: They’ll hand-deliver a care package filled with Milwaukee-made goodies, like popsicles, chocolates, coffee, and more. It’s a double win -- you’re showing your love to a friend and supporting the city’s small businesses.
  • Food delivery has never looked so chic! Now when you order a burger from Hamburger Mary’s, a drag queen will deliver it in full regalia.
  • NO Studios has launched Community Wins, a portal that will feature artist features, live video performances, resources, and their new skill-share initiative. 
  • Arts @ Large is now hosting a story time at 7 p.m. every Wednesday and a family arts day every Saturday at 10 a.m. -- both as Facebook Live events.
  • Milwaukee’s churches, temples, and mosques have moved services online and have begun email campaigns to stay connected to their members. 
  • A new app called MKE Strong is a great way to find and help local restaurants. 
  • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service has a great roundup of local restaurants offering curbside pickup.