Leveraging Goodwill to Help Women in Need

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It isn’t always easy to make ends meet. Sudden illnesses, loss of employment, abuse, hardship and other challenges can spring up and devastate strong women in our neighborhoods and communities. The Fairy Godmother’s Fund helps them get back on their feet.

The Fairy Godmother’s Fund improves the health and well-being of South Dakota women with limited resources. The fund helps them address immediate, short-term and critical needs that can’t be met by traditional funding options. There are no grant applications, no long forms or dense  financial paperwork to fill out. An advisory council of South Dakota women ensures the funds are directly paid to benefit women’s needs throughout the year.

A Strong Start

The fund began in 2009 with $11,000 in donations from hundreds at a women’s conference in Pierre, including $5,000 from the South Dakota Community Foundation. With that strong foundation, the fund has continued to grow, and after just seven years, the endowment fund now holds more than $100,000.

This year, eight women have received grants. One woman with diabetes and a new diagnosis of epilepsy received funds to assist in the adoption of a medical alert dog. The fund also helped an 18-year-old single mom cover costs associated with follow-up appointments for her 9-month-old son who underwent a heart-transplant surgery. A previously homeless mother of two children received assistance from a local nonprofit to secure a vehicle to travel to work. A Fairy Godmother’s Fund grant assisted with licensing, registration and taxes for that vehicle.

These are just a few recent examples of the more than 58 grants totaling $27,600 awarded from the Fairy Godmother Fund in the last seven years.

“The needs that come before the advisory council are tangible and urgent,” said Ginger Niemann, SDCF program officer. “The Fairy Godmother’s Fund has the power and agility to meet needs that many traditional nonprofits and social service organizations are unable to fulfill. When darkness and challenges loom large, the Fairy Godmother’s Fund shines a ray of hope into the lives of South Dakota women through financial assistance.”

Lending a Helping Hand

The Fairy Godmother’s Fund’s Advisory Council consists of women from across the state. The women volunteer their time to ensure funds are paid to the most pressing needs. Members include Beth Benning of Spearfish, Jan DeBerg of Watertown, Glenna Fouberg of Aberdeen, Marilyn Grossenburg of Winner, Jean Koehler of Mitchell, Amy Mickelson of Sioux Falls and Peg Seljeskog of Rapid City.

“The Fairy Godmother’s Fund continues to gain momentum,” said Glenna Fouberg, board member, Fairy Godmother’s Fund Advisory Council. “Donations go to meet pressing needs in the lives of women who are struggling with medical challenges, striving for a brighter future or are being mistreated. South Dakotans don’t think twice about helping their neighbors in need, so consequently I find it fairly easy to ask friends and neighbors to support those who need it most.”

All requests for assistance must come from nonprofits or community members. The Fairy Godmother’s Fund does not accept self-referrals. Contact the SDCF at 800.888.1842 to obtain a referral form.

Give Your Support

To support the Fairy Godmother’s Fund, donate at SDCommunityFoundation.org/FGM. Every first-time contributor receives a fairy godmother lapel pin, and donors who give $250 or more will receive a tote bag. We welcome your partnership in raising funds for the Fairy Godmother’s Fund through private donations, conferences, community groups or other activities.