Your gift helps Odyssey students and graduates with both their educational and personal expenses while they attend college. Additionally, your support makes possible Odyssey Junior, exciting whole families about education and their future, and Odyssey Beyond Bars, bringing transformative education to Wisconsin’s prisons. See below for our four funds so you can choose the one(s) you most want to support. All donations to the Odyssey Project are tax deductible.
Odyssey Project Fund
This fund supports academic programming, including tuition, textbooks, and other expenses associated with Onward Odyssey and the core Odyssey course.
Friends of Odyssey Family Fund
This fund supports Odyssey Junior, tech access for students, helps families with basic living expenses and unanticipated emergencies, and funds Odyssey’s greatest needs.
Odyssey Future Fund
This endowment fund supports Odyssey’s adults and youth academic programs, helping to ensure the program’s long-term sustainability.
Odyssey Beyond Bars Future Fund
This endowment fund supports the Odyssey Beyond Bars program, helping to ensure the program’s long-term sustainability.
Craig Werner Odyssey Scholars Fund
This endowment fund support students enrolled in the Odyssey course, those continuing in college after Odyssey, children enrolled in Odyssey Junior, and students enrolled in Odyssey Beyond Bars.
If you would like to mail your gift, please send a check made payable to UW Foundation and indicate which fund you are supporting in the memo line:
US Bank Lockbox 78807
Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807
To set up monthly donations to Odyssey, click on any of the links above to support the Odyssey Project Fund, the Friends of Odyssey Family Fund, the Odyssey Beyond Bars Fund, or the Odyssey Future Fund.
University of Wisconsin Foundation’s Tax ID number is: 39-0743975. Please be sure to specify which fund you would like your donation to be applied to for any gifts made to UW Foundation.
Other ways to support Odyssey
INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING?
A popular way people choose to volunteer is by providing a meal for adults in the Odyssey Course and children in Odyssey Junior on Wednesday nights from September to May. This adds up to roughly 90 students and staff that we feed each night, so any help is much appreciated! We have found that meal time together fosters friendship and conversation among our students in both the Odyssey Course and Odyssey Junior. It also gives our students a sense that their community supports them in their endeavors to break the cycle of generational poverty through hard work at their education. Sandy (right) has been providing wonderful meals for Odyssey students for many years now. She says this about her work with Odyssey: “The students of the Odyssey Project are amazing. Members of my PEO Chapter BC are happy to be able to provide some meals for Odyssey students.”
You can also volunteer for Odyssey Beyond Bars, which is part of the UW Odyssey Project that targets incarcerated populations. We seek volunteer tutors with experience in writing and literacy skill development. Tutors must complete background checks and training, which OBB will provide in coordination with the Dept. of Corrections. We also seek volunteers to assist with administrative work, fundraising, and research.
COVID-19 update: Adult Odyssey classes have been switched to in-person while Odyssey Junior classes remain online. Due to UW-Madison protocol, we will not be able to accept any donated meals at this time. As an alternative, we are accepting monetary donations that can be put towards purchasing pre-packaged meals for in-person classes, or grocery gift cards given to Odyssey Junior families.
Donate via your IRA
Those who receive an IRA may satisfy their required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year and reduce their taxable income by donating to the UW Odyssey Project! Contact your IRA plan administrator for help setting this up. The IRA funds can be directly transferred to either the Odyssey Project Fund or the Friends of Odyssey Family Fund. Please make sure to specify which fund you would like to support when initiating this process. To make an IRA charitable rollover gift, contact your IRA custodian and request that an amount be transferred directly to the UW Odyssey Project. For support, please call Jenny Pressman at 608-287-8216, or contact your IRA plan administrator or financial advisor.
Fulfill wish lists
For Odyssey Junior (enrichment classes for the children of Odyssey students and alumni), we can use art supplies, puzzles, games, notebooks, children’s books, etc. We have compiled these items into one “Wish List” on Amazon (below). We also could use gift cards for families (gas cards, dept stores like Target, grocery stores) to use as prizes and for emergencies.
Donate meal supplies
Another way to help both the adult Odyssey class and Odyssey Junior is to donate meal supplies for the dinners we serve every Wednesday night before class. Each night we usually serve around 90 students between all of the classes, so we tend to go through materials quickly. Items that we could use include: plastic containers to send home leftovers with our students, napkins, plastic forks/spoons, paper plates (the sturdier the better) and bowls, plastic cups (9 oz and 16 oz), Ziploc bags (sandwich and gallon), and paper towels.
COVID-19 update: These items are currently not needed due to meals being pre-packaged for in-person classes.