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Crisis Recovery, Social Justice Added to SD Grant Program


Monday, March 8, 2021   

PIERRE, S.D. -- New categories to reflect the pandemic and social justice challenges highlight grants to propel community-level projects across South Dakota this year.

Through April 14, AARP will accept applications for its Community Challenge grant program.

The annual funding is designed to help make towns and cities more livable through "quick-action" projects.

Lindsey Holmquest, associate state director for Community Outreach at AARP South Dakota, said in light of everything that's happened over the past twelve months, they will consider projects that align with current challenges.

"Coronavirus relief; so if there are any projects related kind of getting back on your feet after COVID," Holmquest explained. "And also, diversity and inclusion while improving the social environment in the community."

Most grants are relatively modest, around $10,000 dollars on average, and will be awarded to projects that can be completed by Nov. 10.

But Holmquest noted there are no limits on grant size, and they can be as small as a few hundred dollars. Local governments, non-profits and community groups are encouraged to apply.

Holmquest added the grants can be seen as solutions at times when it might be hard to otherwise secure funding for a community-improvement effort and the types of projects that benefit all residents.

"And that can range for everything from public and outdoor spaces to community connectivity," Holmquest suggested. "Feeling included in what's going on, communication."

Last year, nearly $70,000 dollars in grants were awarded for projects around the state.

Nationally, AARP distributed more than $2 million dollars in Community Challenge grants.

Disclosure: AARP South Dakota contributes to our fund for reporting on Health Issues, and Senior Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

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