We know our families, businesses and communities are hurting. We also know the best way forward is to support one another. Visit our COVID-19 page for information and resources that can help. You are welcome to share any information you find useful.
We’re also sharing bright spots throughout southwest Minnesota, including the stories featured below.
Have something to share from your community? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll keep adding to the list!
Several southwest Minnesota communities have successfully hosted local telethons: A telethon hosted by Redwood Area Chamber in Redwood Falls raised around $18,000. In Worthington, Radio Works and the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce raised $180,000, including the support of a network of local Angel investors who donated toward a pool to award bonus certificates. Our partner fund the Freese Family Advised Endowment fund made a grant to support the Angel Pool. The Big Stone Lake Area Chamber of Commerce raised $107,275. And the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce and Marshall Radio raised more than $40,000 dollars for small businesses and nonprofits in their community.
A telethon in Redwood Falls raised around $18,000, a telethon in Worthington raised $180,000 and the Big Stone Lake Area Chamber of Commerce raised $107,275. The Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce and Marshall Radio raised more than $40,000 dollars for small businesses and nonprofits in their community.
Our partner fund the Odell Wind Farm Community Fund recently announced grants totaling $10,000 to local food shelves to help ensure anyone in need has food for themselves and their families.
Second Harvest Heartland is partnering with local organizations to host free food distributions: from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 4 at the YMCA in Willmar; a mobile food pantry from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 5 at the Nobles County Fairgrounds in Worthington; from 3 to 5 p.m. June 17 at the Swift County Food Shelf in Benson; from noon to 2 p.m. June 19 at Ortonville airport; from 2 to 5 p.m. June 25 at the Chippewa County Fairgrounds in Montevideo.
Fey Industries Inc. pivoted from producing promotional advertising and packaging products to making personal protective equipment (PPE) including reusable face shields and isolation gowns. The Fey team’s goal is to protect half a million health care workers and first responders with PPE manufactured in their facility in Edgerton.
The Granite Falls Area Community Foundation, one of our affiliate partners, worked with the Granite Falls EDA to launch the COVID-19 Resiliency Program providing micro-funding to eligible local businesses in Granite Falls impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
SWIF loan client Rhonda Dobberstein owns Nine Patch Quilting in Buffalo Lake and joined with her sister and a customer to sew face masks. They donated them to Rose Arbor assisted and senior living in Maple Grove nursing home where Rhonda’s daughter is a director.
Impact Innovations, a former SWIF loan client, switched from creating merchandising products and seasonal consumer items to mass producing face shields to support those in the medical and elder care fields during COVID-19. The face shields are manufactured in Maynard.
While stores struggle to keep hand sanitizer on their shelves, the Chippewa Valley Ethanol Company in Benson is doing what it can to supply the companies making the much sought-after sanitizers with the primary ingredient they need.
Communities including Jackson, New London and Windom have placed picnic tables in their downtown areas to encourage dining at local restaurants.
Dakota Wicohan staff and their family members created smudge/medicine kits to support youth members and families during social distancing.
Bedford Industries, a family-owned manufacturing company in Worthington, designed a face shield that could help prolong the use of the N95 masks and is now manufacturing hundreds of thousands of ElastiShields each week and distributing them around the country.
The Willmar Area COVID-19 Community Leadership Team helped organize a meal train to serve more than 1,000 meals in a day to local students.
Windomnet, Southwest Minnesota Broadband Services and Back 40 Wireless helped students in the Windom community get internet service at home for distance learning. See a list of free and low-cost internet plans compiled by the Blandin Foundation for options near you.
Southwest Initiative Foundation was born from crisis in 1986, created to keep our communities strong and vibrant. We’ve been moving our strategic work forward, and when the current COVID-19 crisis hit, we also launched an immediate and thoughtful response. Here is a recent look at how our team is supporting southwest Minnesotans.