This Saturday five women will hand out Easter Baskets to homeless men downtown after accepting dozens of donations from coworkers, friends, family and community members.
After receiving cash donations, toothbrushes, toothpastes, socks, lotion, bodywash and other hygiene products, the ladies of Unique Madness Social Club have prepared an event to give back to their community. Unique Madness President Alice Larrue said the group plans hosting this event annually.
“Our community is a family and we have to help each other out,” she said.
Larrue thought about organizing a group like Unique Madness for quite some time but the idea never came to fruition until she spoke to the club’s current treasurer Nicole Dotson. The two went back and forth about forming an organization. Ultimately, both of them thought it would be a good idea.
“I just had the idea for a while. I’m always thinking about different things to do,” Larrue said.
Dotson and Larrue began recruiting others to join their cause. Larrue met the group’s secretary, Felicia Turner, in a support group for mothers who lost their children. The two bonded over shared experiences and Turner thought a social club dedicated to service would be a good idea.
“When my daughter passed away, everyone came together like one big family,” Larrue said.
The women wanted to stand out from other social clubs. Turner said women can socialize anywhere but Unique Madness gives women the opportunity to serve the community while getting to know other women.
“We’re all women from Madison, maybe not from Madison but we live in Madison now, so we’re trying to do something unique,” she said.
All of the women relocated from places outside of Wisconsin such as Illinois and Mississippi but have made Madison their community, their home. Some of the women even crossed paths before forming Unique Madness. Larrue met the group’s Public Relations Officer Shondra Smith when she came over to her house to buy a purse.
The ladies of Unique Madness would like to be known for their volunteerism. The group plans on doing something for every other holiday if not every holiday to help reach people.
This Easter the group specifically chose to support homeless men. Larrue said homeless men do not receive as much support as homeless women and children. She also said there are not enough resources for people in need.
“Some people are not fortunate enough to get stuff,” Sergeant at Arms Lakeshia McNeal said.
McNeal hopes that one day that Unique Madness will have a place to host supplies such as food and hygiene products for people who need them. Last Saturday, the group gathered for the very first time to do community work, organizing the baskets. Dotson said it feels good and she’s excited for the next thing.
Soon the group plans on opening its doors for new members to join. Turner said so far it has been exciting to see the community step in to make donations to help the homeless. She looks forward to seeing the group grow.
“We stand behind our mission statement, everything our mission says,” Smith said.