Respite Center Philosophy

At the Respite Center, we recognize that parenting is one of the toughest jobs that is tougher yet when impacted by racial and economic inequality, isolation, issues with health, housing, or domestic stability. Providing caregivers with well-timed breaks for respite and a safe place when in crisis, helps keep families together when times are tough and support is needed. The Respite Center has been available to the community for over 40 years, providing a place for children to stay with the support of skilled staff who provide an engaging therapeutic space with nourishing meals, warm spaces to rest, and a welcoming place for all families.

Parent Testimonials

Your Gift Supports Mission

At the Respite Center we help families access what they need to land on solid ground when resources are tight. Beyond childcare, we have stocked our pantry so that we can stretch a family's capacity to meet their basic needs  - it may be a gas card, a pack of diapers, a bag of groceries - we tap our pantry to help ease the needs in our community. Your donation deepens our reach to reduce stress for families with a steady stream of essential supplies that we provide both in-house and in response to families requesting relief.

Every contribution has impact.

Thank you for your support!

An Insider's view of the Respite Center

Respite Center History

The Respite Center was established in 1979 through a cooperative effort with the Daycare Consortium and Red Caboose, initially with three years of funding from a federal grant from the National Council of Child Abuse and Neglect. The original location on Williamson St. on Madison's East side served 8 children a day and up to four overnight. The Respite Center continues to provide service six days and seven overnights a week and is funded primarily though Dane County Human Services, the City of Madison, and private donors. 

2020 Innovative and Exemplary Respite Service Award Winner

In 2020, the Respite Center was named by ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center as a model for respite centers across the United States, "to help build and promote stronger respite opportunities to caregivers across the network and the nation." Our unique model of care serves as a template for other communities to build create respite services and an exemplary model of care that has been serving the Dane County community for over 42 years.

Incentive Gifts from Community Contributors

We are so grateful for your donation to Rally for Respite and invite you to choose a gift from one of our many community partners supporting our campaign. We are grateful for our community partners and Respite participants who have contributed to add value to your donation. 

  • Multiple canvases painted by children who have stayed at the Respite Center
  • $25 Gift Certificate to Fontana Sports
  • (2) Complimentary oil change from Chet's Car Care
  • 200 stationary cards from UPS
  • Stone Haus Farm free tour with beekeeper experience and fresh carton of eggs to take home
  • Captain Marvel signed comic book
  • Solid Core Pilates Gift Card
  • One hour massage from Bohemian Massage

See a gift of interest? Here are some ways for you to participate:

  • Donate a minimum of $10 and your name gets entered ONCE into the drawing for your selected prize. 
  • Share our campaign! Each time you share the Rally for Respite fundraising page on social media or via email, your name gets entered for that prize AGAIN!  Just  Tag RISE Wisconsin (@RISEwisconsin)  OR cc- when you email out our fundraising page to your friends, family members, neighbors, and colleagues -- we'll keep track of your participation. Each share/email is another entry for that prize! We reward your participation in spreading the word!
  • Monthly drawings! Follow RISE Wisconsin on social media for fun monthly prize drawings! At the end of each month, RISE Wisconsin will post a video of a Respite child drawing a name out of a hat and announcing the winners of 2-3 of our prizes! It'll be a secret which prizes will be drawn on which months, so stay tuned to our video posts to see if you are that month's lucky winner! We will contact you to find a covid-safe way to deliver your prize to you.