For the last 10 years, arrests have been made and bail has been posted on the
opening day of the Murray County Fair. Arrests? Bail? “Sounds serious!” you say?
Seriously committed to partnering with parents and families with children ages birth to 5.
The Murray County Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) is committed to building community partnerships that enhance child care, provide educational opportunities and support to families with young children.
The coalition started 13 years ago as part of the Minnesota Early Childhood Initiative sponsored by The McKnight Foundation and the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations, including Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF). The coalition also has a sustainability fund hosted by SWIF to help them fund their work.
“The Jail and Bail has been a creative and successful way to engage the community in the conversations around young children…and raise a lot of money at the same time,” said Liz Cheney, SWIF’s Community Philanthropy Director. The 2013 and 2014 Jail and Bail events together brought in more than $25,000 for the program’s operating budget. This month’s event raised $13,325 for the program.
The Murray County ECI coalition has sponsored many learning and growing opportunities such as daycare visits, car seat safety clinics, Fathers Reading Every Day events and the annual Jail and Bail Fundraiser. The Jail and Bail Fundraiser depends on local volunteers.
“I believe the support of the local citizens of Murray County over the past 10 years for our Jail and Bail fundraiser has been phenomenal,” Dodi Haugen, co-coordinator of the ECI coalition said. Every volunteer who touches the event from the beginning planning stages to collecting pledges and writing thank you notes is so important.
SWIF established 16 ECI coalitions in our region and seven have a sustainability fund at SWIF to provide a vehicle for fundraising that supports the local efforts long term. Learn more about Early Childhood Initiatives near you.