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Community Foundation Awards $221,000 in Grants

Community grants

The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation has announced its latest round of Community Fund grants totaling more than $221,000 in support for local nonprofits and causes throughout our area.

The following organizations are recipients of Community Fund grants from July – December 2023.

Founded in 2016, Chabad of South Dakota's mission is to strengthen the South Dakota Jewish Community through education and celebration, and by engaging with the broader community.

The Community Foundation grant supported a Holocaust Remembrance program featuring Holocaust survivor Joe Alexander. Alexander spent six years living in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, including Dachau and Auschwitz. During that time, he became separated from his family and never saw them again. Through sharing his story, Alexander brings awareness to the Holocaust and the important need for a kind and safe world for all.

EcoSun Prairie Farms, Inc. works to promote the ecological, aesthetic, historical and economic benefits of tall grass prairie through education, research, public outreach, and the development of healthy prairie. Most recently, EcoSun successfully completed the second year of a multi-phased project to restore tall grass prairie on 106 acres inside Good Earth State Park.

The Community Foundation grant will help support additional phases of the project including the addition of formal educational and outreach components and informal tours/hikes, and the development of a physical Prairie Center for research and expanded education and outreach opportunities.
Learn more about our support of this project.

Envisioning a state where one’s health, well-being, or potential is not hindered by the availability of nutritious food, Feeding South Dakota and its agency partners are providing food in each of the state’s 66 counties and are fighting hunger in rural communities, metro areas and Native American Reservations.

The Community Foundation grant will support the Terry Redlin Elementary Food Pantry, an effort that aims to provide those who are food insecure in the Terry Redlin neighborhood with nutritious, easy to prepare foods that are accessible to the students at the school.

With a mission to protect and restore the Big Sioux River and its watershed, Friends of the Big Sioux River focuses on four main areas: water quality monitoring, public policy and advocacy, river restoration, and education.

The Community Foundation grant will support the second phase of a project to map and photograph the Big Sioux River watershed.
Learn more about this project.

The Furniture Mission of South Dakota provides those in need with donated and gently used furniture and household items.

Believing that a comfortable home provides dignity, security and a better environment in which to raise a family, the Furniture Mission placed over 28,000 pieces of furniture to 5,078 individuals in 2022, results made possible thanks in part to the inmate labor program through the Department of Corrections (DOC) and the South Dakota State Penitentiary. For 18 years, inmates have worked in the Furniture Mission warehouse each day, assisting with lifting furniture and supporting the warehouse manager and volunteers.

The Community Foundation grant will support the Furniture Mission as it adjusts to a new DOC policy that requires inmates working for nonprofit organizations be classified as work release employees rather than participants in the community service program. This change increases compensation requirements from $1.25 per hour to at least the minimum wage of $10.80. The grant will support the Furniture Mission as it works to hire two staff members to create a permanent warehouse team.

With a mission to care for, support and strengthen individuals, families and communities, Lutheran Social Services (LSS) provides programs and services in 30 communities across South Dakota, with the widest breadth of services offered in the Sioux Falls area. LSS serves people of all ages, races, faiths, and income levels with the hope that all South Dakotans are healthy, safe, and accepted.

The Community Foundation grant will provide support for the LSS Hilltop After-School and Summer Program which provides a safe space, enrichment activities, and homework help for students primarily from Cleveland and Rosa Parks elementary schools.

Thriving on innovative thinking and a people-centered approach, Family Daycare provides services centered around well-being and also serves area families through a charitable family daycare.

The Community Foundation grant will provide support as the organization seeks to expand and enhance its daycare.

Rare by Design works towards creating awareness, inclusion and representation for individuals with rare diseases and disabilities.

The Community Foundation grant supported “Reframing Visible Disabilities,” an art show that allowed participants from the rare disease and disability community to use photography as a platform to share what they want peoples’ first impressions of them to be. Each participant helped direct their own portrait and wrote an accompanying statement to share their story. The goal of this show was to challenge the disconnect between what people first see when they encounter someone with a visual disability versus the complex human being.

Established in 2013, the Sioux Falls Design Center was created by design professionals to inform and engage the public on the impact of design in our daily lives and in the community of Sioux Falls. With the past help of community sponsors and partners, the Sioux Falls Design Center develops design-related programs to connect designers of all kinds, community leaders, and the greater public.

The Community Foundation grant will support an exhibit called “Say It Loud: South Dakota,” a collaboration of interdisciplinary professionals elevating the contributions of women and diverse architects, engineers, etc. within the block chain of design. The exhibit allows our community to honor great design work from the women and people of color who are contributing now, and to inspire the girls and people of color who are next.

With a mission to educate individuals for employment opportunities, professional growth, and lifelong learning, Southeast Technical College’s programs and services have been linked to workforce demands since its founding in 1968.

The Community Foundation grant will support the launch of a new behavioral and mental health technician program designed to prepare students to enter the high-demand career field of behavioral and mental health patient care.

Dedicated to breaking the stigma surrounding mental health in the African community, the Culture Link helps trauma, violence, and war-impacted immigrants find victory over their migrant trauma through culturally competent support and resources.

The Community Foundation grant will provide support as this new nonprofit reaches out to its constituents through health seminars, educational one-on-one consultation sessions, and public media.

A nonprofit dedicated to providing opportunities and empowering minority youth, Translators of Cultures offers opportunities for youth to practice civic duties, showcase their cultures, and learn leadership skills. Education, leadership, advocacy, mentoring and community outreach are pillars of the organization.

The Community Foundation grant will support “STARS-III (Student Training Achieving Roadmap to Success),” an effort designed to help develop unique pathways for minority youth to pursue their future careers, to find individual success, and to encourage community involvement.

A visual art organization based in Sioux Falls, the mission of Untitled.10 is to create art events in public spaces to give new and emerging local artists a platform to share their artwork and their voices.

The Community Foundation grant is supporting season three of Untitled.10’s pop-up art show series. This season features "Refocus," an exhibition of photography, a holiday show to be held at the Great Plains Zoo, and additional exhibits and workshops planned for spring 2024.

With a mission to deliver memorable experiences that entertain, educate, and enrich, the Washington Pavilion aims to inspire lifelong discovery and inclusive experiences that improve the quality of life for everyone.

The Community Foundation grant will support a project designed to celebrate the Pavilion’s 25th anniversary. This written and audio/visual record of the Pavilion’s history will be developed in collaboration with local journalists and media producers and will chronicle the history of Washington High School, its transition to becoming the Pavilion, and the Pavilion's positive impact on the region since its opening in 1999. The project will culminate in a print piece and a short film comprised of interviews with community leaders who were key players in the Pavilion's formation.

Founded in 2019 by local journalist Angela Kennecke, Emily’s Hope is dedicated to addressing substance use disorder through a variety of initiatives. Programs include K-5 prevention education, awareness efforts to remove the stigma associated with substance use disorder, treatment scholarships, and support groups for individuals and families affected by substance use disorder.

The Community Foundation grant will support a Narcan distribution program. Narcan is a life-saving medication that can be administered to reverse the effects of an opioid-related overdose. By offering accessible Narcan to people suffering from substance abuse disorder, their friends and families, and the general public, Emily’s Hope will empower the community to save lives in the event of an overdose and raise awareness about this critical issue.

Learn more about Emily’s Hope.

Light for the Next Generation is an organization that provides underprivileged youths with safe environments and access to opportunities to enrich their personal and professional lives through sports, arts, and educational programs.

The grant from the Community Foundation will support Rising Stars, a youth soccer program; Kairos Girls volleyball; and Shine Your Light, a program focused on empowering and developing first generation high school students by nurturing their personal & professional aspirations.

Journey of Hope is aimed at assisting and supporting individuals with hygiene insecurity in southeastern South Dakota. Provided hygiene kits typically include essential items like soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, and sanitary products, which are crucial for maintaining personal hygiene and preventing the spread of disease. They also offer art as therapy programming to youth and adults who have been justice-impacted (currently detained, in treatment, or on probation).

The Community Foundation grant will support the “Finding Hope Through the Arts” program at Minnehaha Juvenile Detention Center and the Glory House. This program provides a creative and therapeutic outlet for justice-impacted individuals. The goal is to help them develop healthy coping mechanisms, improve their mental well-being, and cultivate positive self-expression; giving them a chance to heal, grow, and ultimately reintegrate into society in a healthier and more productive way.

Sioux Falls Soccer Academy runs a year-round, whole-person soccer program that strives to build character, teamwork, and a sense of belonging with primarily students from minority groups.

The Community Foundation grant will support the Academy’s program entitled, “Soccer: An Education Vehicle to Build a Community of Belonging.” This project is focused on building a quality of life for vulnerable communities, beginning with children. Through soccer, the students that the Academy serves learn discipline, accountability and responsibility while engaging in an atmosphere of exercise and play.

Founded in 2020, SoDak 350 wants to make South Dakota part of the climate solution. They spread the word about new programs that will make renewable and energy-efficient technologies more affordable for South Dakotans, paving the way for a clean energy future for all. SoDak 350 is also involved with working on the Sustainable Sioux Falls Plan, a roadmap to get the City of Sioux Falls on the path to a sustainable future.

The grant from the Community Foundation helped fund a Community Conversation on Climate and Sustainability event in early December, which hosted citizen-driven discussion on climate challenges and how Sioux Falls can move forward and build a sustainable future in a changing world.

Each year, Augustana University collaborates with local government to complete a Point-in-Time (PIT) count of the Sioux Falls unhoused population.

The Community Foundation grant supported the purchase of bus passes to give as incentives for individuals to complete the survey.