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Operation Bootstrap continues helping those in need in its 50th year

A volunteer working at Operation Bootstrap in Stevens Point (WSAW photo)
A volunteer working at Operation Bootstrap in Stevens Point (WSAW photo)(WSAW)
Published: Apr. 26, 2020 at 6:55 PM CDT
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As it has been for 50 years, Operation Bootstrap is available to help families and individuals in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The community wants to make sure that everybody has what they need,” said executive director Roseann Willett Debot. “They’ve really gone out of their way to take care of that.”

Roseann says that the primary food pantry in Portage County is stocked and ready to go, and while donations of food keep coming in, it’s their other programs that are experiencing a lot of need at the moment.

“Besides the food pantry, we do rent, security deposits, utilities, prescriptions, transportation, clothing,” said Roseann. “I was given a nice amount of money to help people with rent, additional money that we would not normally have received. There are so many people that need help with their rent. They’ve been out of work like five weeks.”

According to Roseann, the organization currently has over a thousand volunteers that assist with the services at Operation Bootstrap, some on a regular basis while others lend their help once or twice a year.

It’s the volunteers and the community generosity that help them provide for families in need throughout Portage County.

“We have people who do get food, but they don’t have the paper products; the diapers, toilet paper and Kleenex and things like soaps. If that’s all people need, that’s what we’ll give them,” Roseann explained.

Those who would like to utilize the services that Operation Bootstrap provides must have a referral. They can get one by contacting emergency assistance services in Portage County at 715-344-7438.

If you would like to donate to Operation Bootstrap, checks can be sent to 5000 Heffron Street, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, 54481.

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