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Hang in there, Chippewa Valley.

Like so many organizations right now, our staff is doing everything we can to help where it makes sense, with the tools we have available to us.

Nick Meyer

We know many of you are staying home right now.
So however you got your hands on this historic print edition of Volume One – whether from a grocery store or rack somewhere, or through our first-ever free home doorstep delivery effort – we want to thank you for finding your way to these pages today. Now more than ever, we appreciate your readership and support as we, along with thousands of other struggling individuals and businesses across the Chippewa Valley, carefully tread forward into these unprecedented times.
As you page through, you’ll notice this issue looks nothing like normal. No events, no listings, none of the typical articles. That’s because, while typical community life is at a bit of a standstill, for now we’ve turned everything over to coverage and information related to the pandemic, and how it’s playing out in our very own region. We’ve done the same with our website at VolumeOne.org, with our weekly email lists, and on our social media feeds.

Even now, we want to help serve as a connecting thread to the heartbeat of our community, because that heartbeat hasn’t stopped. So neither will we. 

Like so many organizations right now, our staff is doing everything we can to help where it makes sense, with the tools we have available to us. While we want to be doing more, here’s the gist of a few of the steps we’ve taken and adjustments we’ve made to support the community where we can (and if you think there’s something more we could feasibly be doing, please don’t hesitate to email me directly at nick@volumeone.org):
  • As things got bad in mid-March, in an effort to support the independent restaurant and retail scene, we quickly launched the Save Your Faves webpage to help connect the public with independent restaurants still offering pick up or delivery, and with retailers offering gift cards online or via phone. Find it at VolumeOne.org/SaveYourFaves.
  • On March 27, we launched the Chippewa Valley Bulletin Board at VolumeOne.org, offering local non-profits and adversely affected businesses the opportunity to post their own content to our site, our large email list, and social feeds (free of charge) with updates, requests, offers, fundraisers, and more. If your organization could use this service, find more info on our website.
  • In general we’re using our website, huge email lists, social media feeds, and print edition to inspire action and tell as many stories as we can of citizens, businesses, and non-profits supporting each other and working to make it through this tough time.
  • We continue to gather and share on VolumeOne.org as many resources as we can find for local food pantries, community meal services, financial resources, temporary job boards, fundraisers, and much more. Let us know if we’re missing any.
  • To help these stories and resources be discovered, our staff jumped in their own cars to offer free doorstep delivery of this issue to people who are unable to get to one from a rack right now. Thousands signed up on our website.
  • We are offering local businesses and non-profits affected by the crisis short-term options for reduced rate advertising and promotion on our digital and print platforms through May. Contact advertising@volumeone.org to discuss your options, and how we can help.
  • We’re supporting the Chippewa Valley Artist Relief Fund through a cash donation and significant promotional support and awareness. Find more info on how you can donate at VolumeOne.org.

Finally, to keep our creative and hardworking staff of nearly 20 full-time people supported as much as possible, we’ve found some incredible community organizations and individuals who have stepped up to support these efforts. We’re deeply thankful for their backing, because the vast majority of our usual advertising income from events, ticketing, restaurants, retailers, and other local businesses disappeared as the shutdown materialized. This will help us keep most of our staff on the payroll and their benefits intact, though schedules may be reduced as we do our best to make it out the other side of this crisis. You’ll see these sponsors’ names and logos on the following page, as well as in their ads throughout this issue. It’s with their generous spirit in mind, that we’ll continue to pay it forward with every tool available to us.

If you’re in a position to consider it and would also like to support Volume One and our work in this community over the last 18 years, we’d be deeply appreciative. You can always order and send care packages, gift cards, and other local goods online at TheLocalStore.org. But like so many community papers similar to ours across the country have been doing, we’re launching a reader membership program for anyone who’d like to chip in right now and buy a package of benefits. We know there are countless worthy causes and businesses to support during a time like this, and many that should come well before us. But if you’re interested, you can pick out some fun items while acknowledging our efforts in the process. Learn more at VolumeOne.org/membership.
We know that in various ways, this pandemic is keeping all of us apart from the people and the community we love. But even now, we want to help serve as a connecting thread to the heartbeat of our community, because that heartbeat hasn’t stopped. So neither will we. 
—Nick Meyer, Volume One