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MADISON, Wis. - A $1 million donation to a new program aimed at taking a new approach to fighting poverty will start off a campaign to raise $19 million for the United Way of Dane County.

The nonprofit announced the fundraising goal Thursday along with a $1 million donation for a new anti-poverty initiative.

The HIRE initiative is aimed at bringing together efforts to help families with early childhood education, housing and employment. The money will help an estimated 240 people get stable jobs and 45 families get a safe and stable home.

The employment part of the initiative involves working with employers to get those who need work matched up with the training they need to get and keep quality jobs.

Most of the donation comes in a $550,000 investment from American Family Insurance. Donations from the Jack and Sarah Salzwedel family, Steve and Nicki Stricker, Diane Christiansen, Alliant Energy, J.H. Findorff & Sons Inc., and Madison Gas and Electric round out the rest of the $1 million donation.

The $19 million campaign goal is up from last year’s $18 million goal.

The campaign was launched during a Day of Caring event at the Madison Mallards ballpark on Thursday.

$1M donation for poverty project starts United Way campaign

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