Safe, Quality Childcare & Early Literacy Makes a Difference!

November 15, 2018

For 56 years, UMCS has focused on providing care to families who struggle with poverty. Through affordable housing and a variety of wrap-around supportive services, we provide many resources for families to meet their basic needs. Through things like case management, food pantry, clothing pantry,childcare, health care navigation and more, families are able to find the resources they need to improve their financial stability and become more successful in meeting their long-term goals. 

One of those areas of care is our Growing Tree Childcare program.Growing Tree is a state licensed childcare center that cares for children from 6 months old through 12 years. Quality childcare is an important need for most families, especially when parents need a safe place for children to learn and play when they are working, in school,or meeting their family’s basic needs.

Children who enter the program are assessed with the Ages &Stages Questionnaire to identify the individual needs of each child in order to develop supportive programming.  From referrals for speech therapy to early literacy development to handling specific behavioral needs, we work with families to provide the resources needed for children to have safe, quality care.  The Growing Tree Children’s Center is also fully committed to resourcing the complete needs of a family, and referrals to the other services within UMCS are offered to families needing support beyond childcare, so that all of the basic needs of a family can be met.  

This past summer, the Growing Tree Children’s Center had a new update to its facilities. Through a partnership with the Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church, students and families can now check out books from anew literacy library to take home to improve reading across over all ages. Almost 1000 books have been supplied to the children’s center including many books that families are able to keep permanently.  

“Literacy is such an important part of our student’s development,and access to books is the first step for children to improve their early literacy skills.” says Theresa Purifoy, the center Director.  “Many of our students do not have books at home, and this center will help our children improve their reading skills.” 

This addition to the GTCC will help to support our children and families, and is an example of the ways that we care for families at UMCS through a variety of supportive services that impact their lives in so many ways. 

On Tuesday, November 27th, you can join us in our Giving Tuesday Campaign as we seek to add 100 new donors and receive a $10,000 challenge grant match.  For every NEW* donor who gives a gift of $50 or more on that day, UMCS will receive a gift of $100 through the generosity of the Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation & an anonymous donor.  Help us make an impact in the lives of the children and families that we serve by providing the affordable housing and supportive services necessary to succeed.


Ways you can help-- 

·        If you have not yet directly supported UMCS*, consider giving a gift on November 27th by donating online at donation provides affordable housing and other basic needs to families who struggle with poverty, and on this day, your impact is TRIPLED!

·        If you are a current donor, we ask you to share the story of UMCS with your friends, family, co-workers, and networks and invite them to consider supporting children & families in Milwaukee. You can share this blog post or donation link with them, or like us on facebook and share the donation link from our facebook page. (We will have a number of posts and stories highlighted on the page throughout the month of November available for you to share.) Don't forget to have them mention your name on the donation page---all current donors who refer a new donor on Giving Tuesday will be invited to a special 'Thank You' event in 2019!

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of those we serve!


For questions or more information, contact: Tina Itson, Director of Development,, 414-344-1818
*Many donors give to UMCS through offerings & gifts through their local congregations. These gifts are not considered 'direct' gifts from an individual donor, thus donations from these donors on Giving Tuesday would be considered 'NEW' for this campaign challenge grant.  If you are unsure whether your gift would be counted for this challenge, please contact Tina directly.