Southwest Initiative Foundation has awarded grants totaling up to $60,000 to our local affiliates as part of our new Grow Our Own efforts. This grant opportunity was made available to all 25 of our affiliates, and all 12 who submitted an application were funded.
Each will receive $2,500 to partner with a local organization and complete a project that impacts youth in their community. Dozens of these affiliates’ volunteer board members attended the Grow Our Own Summit, which took place in December 2016 in Marshall. The day focused on the “opportunity gap” faced by American youth, where the division of economic classes is widening and children born into poor families are unable to access the opportunities they need to reach their full potential.
Research shows that today, one in six kids in our region lives in poverty and four in 10 live in families likely struggling to meet their basic needs. SWIF is taking a holistic approach, from cradle to career. Focus areas include stable family and parenting, high quality early childhood, K-12 engagement in and out of school, safe and caring neighborhoods and communities, and career on-ramps for success. Each of the affiliate projects touch these focus areas, too.
- Balaton Area Community Foundation and Little Panthers Preschool
Project will supply equipment and increase learning opportunities
- Benson Area Community Foundation and Swift County Human Services
Project will help families coping with addiction and develop a mentoring program
- BIO Legacy Foundation (Bird Island and Olivia) and Christian Community Outreach Center
Project will create a mentorship program and raise funds for the center
- Dawson Community Foundation and Dawson-Boyd School District
Project will develop a REACH program for the district
- Heron Lake-Okabena Community Foundation and Heron Lake-Okabena School District
Project will fund lunches for the summer school program
- Hutchinson Area Community Foundation and Hutchinson Center for the Arts
Project will create a “Creative Families Fund” to eliminate barriers to arts participation
- Lake Benton Area Foundation and Lake Benton Volunteers for Education
Project will provide nutritious snacks and scholarship fund for after school program, as well as develop an adopt-a-grandparent program
- Milan Community Foundation and Greater Milan Initiative
Project will develop a youth center
- Montevideo Area Community Foundation and Chippewa Valley Youth Club
Project will expand, raise funds and develop a mentor coordinator position for the club
- Mountain Lake Area Foundation and Mountain Lake Public School
Project will cover registration feels for low-income students to participant in the Invention Project workshop
- Walnut Grow Area Foundation and Westbrook-Walnut Grove Elementary School
Project will develop a weekend food program for students
- Worthington Area Foundation and Worthington YMCA
Project will expand mentoring program to include family-to-family mentoring
In addition to the $2,500 grant for these projects, SWIF has challenged these affiliates with a $2,500 dollar-for-dollar matching grants. Any gifts given to their general endowment funds before June 20, 2017 will be matched by SWIF.
Visit our donate page to support these funds.