By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Dec 05, 2014 at 11:07 AM Photography: shutterstock.com

You love Milwaukee, right? But what have you done to make it a better place?  Do you even know where to begin?

"With so many worthy charities out there, it's hard to pick just one and sometimes people don't know where to start..." says Rachel Fell of Yelp Milwaukee.

That sometimes overwhelmed feeling formed a large part of why Fell got together with Robyn Wohlfeil of Community Shares of Greater Milwaukee,  a unique group focused on running workplace campaigns and promoting individual giving for social change, animal welfare, and environmental organizations.

"Since Community Shares advocates for so many worthy, local causes, I thought it'd be a natural fit," says Fell. "I reached out with the idea to do a week-long, social media-focused campaign on discretionary giving … making it easy and accessible was, in my mind, the best way to get Milwaukeeans to get active be it with time, material, or monetary donations." 

The two began to chat about the potential for launching a campaign to bring awareness to all the different ways Milwaukeeans can participate in hyper-local discretionary giving.

And the Give Where You Live campaign was born.

December 5-12, the Give Where You Live campaign will encourage Milwaukeeans to "choose their own philanthropic adventure."

Want to volunteer?  Give Where You Live will teach you how you can care for animals, assist refugees or contribute to community gardening initiatives.

Prefer to donate needed items? Find out where supplies are most needed to help struggling women, veterans and the homeless.

Want to know exactly where your money is going? And how to keep it local?  Just tune in on social media and learn.

Follow the hashtag #GiveMKE on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to learn more about all the amazing, homegrown causes that exist in the Milwaukee area – and exactly how to assist them in their work.

The campaign, Wohlfeil says, isn’t about charity. It’s about connecting people with causes that are the most meaningful to them.

"We think the #GiveMKE campaign is a fun and creative way to kick off the holiday ‘giving spirit’," says Wohlfeil, "All while supporting 50 nonprofits who work year-round to strengthen Milwaukee. It’s a great way to make a meaningful impact in our community."

And making a difference can be fun.  Take for example that the week of giving will wrap up with a Campaign Victory Party, a celebratory event featuring music from a local swamp folk band Honest Monday at Shank Hall on Friday, Dec. 12 beginning at 7 p.m.

The event will celebrate the completion of our Fall Workplace Giving Campaign and thank community supporters and workplace partners who contributed to its success.  Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 online or at the door for $15.

"So often we talk about making Milwaukee better ... about sharing and doing, and about working together to make the City we love and call home a better place. Giving back to a cause that's near and dear to your heart is walking your talk," says Fell.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.