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Community Grant Recipients Announced

The Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation today announced its latest grant recipients, six local nonprofits that are transforming our area by protecting those who are vulnerable, forging positive pathways for youth and teens, creating possibilities for families in need, advancing diversity in our community, and providing information through public service journalism.

The grants were made possible thanks to the Community Fund, the endowment behind the Foundation’s most visionary grant-making. The Fund is supported by unrestricted gifts from donors who entrust the Foundation to award grants based on community needs and opportunities.

Learn more about the Community Fund grants awarded from January - March 2022:

Incorporated in 2016, Call to Freedom is an anti-human trafficking agency that provides supportive services to victims of human trafficking and exploitation. The nonprofit primarily services sex and labor trafficking victims in the metro Sioux Falls area but also receives referrals from across the state and nation. The organization averages eight new client referrals per week.

The mission of Call to Freedom is to help navigate a path from victim to survivor through victim-centered responsive services. Its vision is to create a cohesive community model of care and support for victims, bringing communities together while educating and advocating to stop human trafficking.

The Foundation’s grant will support an upcoming training of Set Me Free’s READY To Stand curriculum, a prevention tool to educate youth on human trafficking. The goal of the training is to ensure more awareness and prevention to youth about human trafficking and to prepare trainers to present in Sioux Falls area schools and teach on what human trafficking is and how to recognize it.

Founded in 2005 by National Master Elliott Neff, the mission of Chess4Life is to teach life skills through the game of Chess to one million children per week. Students who participate learn perseverance through adversity, the payoff of consistent effort, and the priceless feeling of earned achievement. Additionally, through the game, chess players learn the importance of sportsmanship, build complex problem solving skills, develop patience, and understand how to learn from mistakes without giving up.

The Foundation’s grant will help create a Chess Program at the Sioux Falls Juvenile Detention Center. Each youth who enters the facility will be introduced to Chess and, as a result, will benefit from the related skills the game teaches — how to carefully think through one's actions, how those actions impact your future, and how those actions impact your opponent. Through learning the game of Chess, youth at the Juvenile Detention Center will also have opportunities to practice good sportsmanship, to admit mistakes and learn from them, to build confidence, and to develop creative problem solving skills.

Founded in 2018, Faith Through Frames offers free framed portraits to families and neighbors in need, as well as photo ID cards, developed in collaboration with Feeding South Dakota, to help individuals access mobile food pantry distributions. In order to reach those most in need, Faith Through Frames partners with Church on the Street and Peace Lutheran Church’s Necessities for Neighbors program. To date, Faith Through Frames has captured and shared more than 1,000 portraits.

The organization’s mission is to treat every family/individual with dignity and to provide a professional photo shoot experience.

The Foundation’s grant will provide support for Faith Through Frames as it continues its presence in downtown Sioux Falls with a portrait studio serving those in need. The organization’s goal is to double the number of portraits taken this year.

With a mission to create and advocate for diversity and inclusion in cinema, and to educate on the topic of diversity, the Hazard Film Project is a nonprofit organization that provides avenues for filmmakers to tell stories of marginalized groups and socially relevant topics in an effort to help facilitate difficult conversations.

The Foundation’s grant will help support the organizations upcoming Red Carpet Premiere Fundraiser, set for Tuesday, May 10, at the Sioux Falls State Theatre. The event will feature episodes from “The Black Project,” “Black & Blue,” a short documentary on Julian Beaudion, and a short narrative film titled “Hazard,” funded in part by the Sioux Falls Area Community Foundation.

The event will also include a panel discussion on racial identity/experience in Sioux Falls moderated by social justice and diversity educators Harriet Yocum and Sara Crosby.

Established in 1985, the Indian Education Parent Committee works in collaboration with the School District’s Office of Indian Education to serve all Native students and families in the Sioux Falls School District. Its programs are designed to empower students and increase their success through a rigorous curriculum and by connecting them to their schools, their histories, and their culture.

The Committee sponsors a series of events each year to help bring students and families together with the Sioux Falls School District to promote family engagement, build community and help increase graduation rates among Indigenous students.

The Foundation’s grant will support the Committee’s upcoming Graduation Honoring Ceremony celebrating 82 students who have completed high school or obtained a GED. The ceremony will feature speakers, a drum group, dancers, a star quilt presentation and food.

A non-profit organization dedicated to providing in-depth public service journalism, South Dakota News Watch illuminates the essential link between journalism and democracy. Since its founding in 2017, News Watch has produced hundreds of investigative news stories, shedding light on important statewide issues across all sectors, from agriculture to education, public safety, politics and more.

The Foundation’s grant will provide support as the organization works to advance its mission with the addition of a new investigative reporter, through its internship program, and through its state-wide polling efforts.

The grant brings the Community Foundation’s total charitable investment in South Dakota News Watch to $55,000 — an illustration of the Foundation’s commitment to invest in aspiring nonprofits who exhibit high potential to drive positive change and create meaningful social impact.