When Glen and Jackie Herfurth came to Montevideo in 1961, the young couple had two small boys and a deep desire to make connections. After living in Minneapolis and traveling five days a week for work, Glen had taken a job at Anderson Super Service, a local petroleum jobber and regional tire distributor.
“We wanted to live in a small town with good churches, quality schools and a vibrant business community, where we could put down roots. We found all of that in Montevideo,” Glen said.
“It was exciting for me to go shopping or downtown or to the grocery store and see people I knew. It was just fun being connected. The word ‘community’ really describes it,” Jackie noted.
They settled in, and Glen changed jobs to work at First National Bank, where he stayed for 33 years.
“My work at the bank helped me become aware of the needs and opportunities in our community,” Glen said.
Their family grew, adding three girls. Jackie’s interest in school, church and other organizations further expanded Herfurths’ desire to help their community. Glen became “Mr. Fundraiser,” advocating for projects including a new school and a renovated senior center. In 2001, he was on the founding board the Montevideo Area Community Foundation, one of Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) 30 community foundation affiliates. Glen feels having a local community foundation connects Montevideo.
“I think SWIF through its history has done a great job of looking at the region and the economic ambitions in the region and instead of building buildings, they built the community. That was true with agriculture, with small business, and we think it’s one of the things that’s going to happen with Grow Our Own,” Glen said.
Herfurths want our kids in the region today to have a great place to grow up – just like their kids had. They inquired about how they could use a Qualified Charitable Distribution from an Individual Retirement Account to support Grow Our Own in their hometown.
Southwest Initiative Foundation’s team of staff researched opportunities and needs in Montevideo, then shared several
ideas with Glen and Jackie. They chose to give $1,000 to support Little Thunder Hawk Care, the only center-based child care provider in town. Its staff needed a crib surveillance camera system in the infant room to help retain and expand infant spots, which are often the hardest child care slots for families to secure because of the staff-child ratio requirement.
SWIF has leveraged well over $1 million to help communities find solutions to the child care crisis over the last several years. This work has helped create or retain nearly 1,000 child care slots in the region, benefiting kids, families and local economies. Check out the “Child Care in Action” graphic to see where we’ve helped with planning and investing in local projects, providing professional development for providers close to home, and ensuring leaders and the general public have access to information and understand current child care issues.
“We’re really pleased that SWIF exists to give us guidance on what needs there are and what kind of organization might be able to fill those. The staff at SWIF keeps in touch with our local community foundation and other organizations to help them grow and prosper and fulfill the goals that they set for themselves,” Glen said.