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Our Good Works

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From the first acts of caring by the two original “attic angels” in 1889 to the well-orchestrated fund-raising and outreach programs of today, Attic Angel Association has sought to make a positive and tangible difference for children and seniors in the greater Madison community. Attic Angel Association is a 501(c)3 charitable organization.

Our Ongoing Contributions

Signature Fund-Raising Events

Our Angels host three major fund-raising sales each year: The Attic Sale in June, the Classic Clothing Sale in the fall and the Holidays Galore & More Sale each November. The Attic Sale, a gigantic resale of high-quality home merchandise, is one of Madison’s best-known events, having been part of our culture for more than half a century. All three of these sales raise funds for deserving nonprofit organizations whose programs align with Attic Angel Association’s charitable focus of that year. After surveying community needs, the Association’s Board of Directors determines a focus for the new year.

Community Grants

Funded by our signature sales events, our community grants program supports other nonprofit organizations concerned about the needs of children and the elderly in Dane County. Since 1983, we’ve donated nearly $7 million to more than 140 nonprofit grant recipients.

Health Care Scholarships

Attic Angel’s New Horizon Fund provides scholarships for students pursuing health care education at Madison College. (Attic Angel Place is often a clinical training site for such students.) The fund grows in honor of each year’s Board Chair and Angels who have reached milestone anniversaries as a volunteer so that their demonstrated commitment to good works may continue into the future.

School Partnership

As part of the Adopt-a-School program through the Madison Public Schools Foundation, Attic Angel has taken Falk Elementary School under its wing. Located on Madison’s southwest side, the school includes a number of families of limited means. To help, Attic Angel Association conducts drives for school supplies and winter clothing and contributes goods and volunteer time to events at the school to raise money and build relationships. In return, Falk students have brought new joy to Attic Angel Place through such things as artwork and an orchestra concert.

Continuing Education

Since 1974, Attic Angel Association has organized a weekly series of continuing education programs for seniors. Experts from the University of Wisconsin and other local businesses present a wide range of topics, and the public is invited to join our learning community free of charge.

Become a Member Non-Member Options

Our History-Shaping Achievements

In 2019, Attic Angel celebrated 130 years of caring for Madison by inviting the entire city to have a good time on its campus. Themed “Life is a Playground!” the birthday party and fundraising event was reminiscent of an Attic Angel gala in 1898, when the Angels invited the entire city to dance in the University Armory (aka The Red Gym) to raise money to build Madison’s first hospital. In 2019, the fun brought in money to build a playground to serve homeless children and others enrolled at The Playing Field early learning center in Madison. By providing solutions to help lessen social problems, the Angels continue to make a positive impact on life in Dane County.

In Health Care


In the early 1900s, when good health care was hard to come by, the growing Attic Angel group of civic-minded women pledged $1,000 along with additional help to establish Madison’s first hospital in 1903. Five years later, they established Madison’s first visiting nurse service, which is today known as SSM Health at Home. And in 1915, they started and ran the city’s first well-child clinics for 34 years before turning them over to the Madison Health Department.

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The Playing Field

The Playing Field Poster

Children affected by trauma such as homelessness and those with special needs such as autism spectrum disorders have different sensory needs for emotional support that helps them learn to manage behaviors. Our dream is to create a play space that allows children to be successful while ... being kids! Some of our plans:

  • A large open space for running (crowded spaces are often a behavior trigger for children)
  • High fencing and an appropriate climbing structure (children impacted by trauma or those on the autism spectrum often take bigger risks and climb higher)
  • Sensory panels that welcome independent play when children are agitated
  • A maze for children to walk through (this helps the brain to organize)
  • Small structures where children can feel safe
  • Specially designed pieces to work large muscle groups

By helping children at this critical point in their development, your gift will be helping the future of our community!

 Visit The Playing Field Website