The Sharing Center to receive $5,000 from The Nielsen Company thanks to Salem resident

The Sharing Center, a Western Kenosha County based relief agency has received a Christmas gift of $5,000 thanks to the thoughtfulness of a Salem resident.

Karen Mahoney’s family tracks their purchases for The Neilsen Company, to be used as part of consumer behavior databases.

Karen Mahoney

Last month, Neilsen sent Mahoney an email inviting her to submit a paragraph about a charitable organization. The company was planning to give $10,000 to one charitable organization in the U.S.

Mahoney explained:

All they wanted was a paragraph stating why this charity should get the money. I thought, ‘What the heck’ and I took a few minutes and wrote a paragraph and sent it off. I forgot all about it. Well, last week they called me and said that the Sharing Center was one of five finalists. They asked me a ton of questions about the place and said they’d get back to me before Christmas. I thought, ‘OK, I won’t be hearing from them.’ To be honest, I was in a daze when the guy called me — it just didn’t seem real. Well, he called back yesterday and told me that they narrowed it down to two groups and would I mind if they split the prize between the Sharing Center and another place in Indiana? … I was very excited. So, I waited a while and thought I had better call Lynn Biese over there because she will surely think this is fake. I called her–and she said yes, that this guy called and she was so excited about this news.”

Mahoney said Neilsen plans to deliver the check in person in January.

Lynn Biese-Carroll, the center’s executive director was indeed thrilled with the news.

“We are very honored to have people like Karen speak for us,” Biese-Carroll.

Mahoney’s name may seem familiar to readers of A freelance journalist, she is a frequent contributor to and other area news publications and Catholic newspapers.

“…It was a fluke really — never thought I had a chance especially when I learned there were 1,800 entries,” Mahoney said.

Here was what Mahoney initially wrote, though she eventually also had to supply other background info about the organization and area:

In a county that is one of the hardest hit economically in the State of Wisconsin, The Sharing Center is there to help. Among others, the Chrysler Corporation, a major employer of residents in the area recently shuttered its doors in Kenosha. Numerous foreclosures, lost jobs, and underemployment have led to shattered Christmas dreams, meager holiday feasts and children going without necessities. To fill in the gap, the Sharing Center works year round to make sure that children have food, warm clothes, haircuts, school supplies and a present or two under the Christmas tree. This organization would be the perfect choice for a generous benefactor.



  1. Kaye Schulz says:

    What a touching story. Hats off to you, Karen. This world could use a lot more “Angels” like you.

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