No act of kindness is ever wasted. Paul Spence lives by those words, and it’s the motto for a local nonprofit he helped create called the Jackson Snow Angels that clears snow for older adults for free. It’s a group effort among retirees, business owners, students and public health. In January, the Snow Angels received a grant from the Paul and Alma Schwan Aging Trust Endowment Fund at Southwest Initiative Foundation to help purchase a tractor.
Joe DeVlaeminck is building his own business on the foundation of the former Tom Bofferding Construction company, which he purchased last year. Southwest Initiative Foundation’s Microenterprise Loan Program helped DeVlaeminck complete the purchase and launch Concrete Joe Construction, specializing in residential concrete work, from putting up foundation walls to flat work such as driveways, sidewalks and stamped slabs.
Are you passionate about making a difference in your community, but need the tools and confidence to step into more formal leadership roles? Growing Local: Emerging Leaders is a leadership education program designed just for you. We’ll help you discover and build on your unique strengths so you can make a difference through local boards, commissions and elected positions.
A grant helped bring animal-assisted social emotional therapy to Glencoe-Silver Lake Elementary School this year. Each week, Phoebe the Aussiedoodle comes to GSL with her human handler, Anna Bull. Her visits are meant to help address increased social and emotional needs of students and support teachers and staff as they cope with the after-effects of the pandemic.
Tyler DeCesare opened Functional Nutrition in December with help from Southwest Initiative Foundation’s Microenterprise Loan Program. The new small business on Luverne’s Main Street is a one-stop shop for vitamins, supplements, sports nutrition, protein shakes, ready-to-eat fit meals and smoothie bowls.
MacKenzie Dohmann opened the doors to Pink Apron Bakery in November, just in time for the sweet season of holiday treats. Southwest Initiative Foundation’s Microenterprise Loan Program provided working capital for the startup, which specializes in breads, bagels and unique cookies and confections.