Faith: Building a Foundation It can be said that small town America was built on faith: faith in the good earth, faith in good neighbors, and faith placed on the value of a handshake. And so it is with the community of FAITH, South Dakota. It’s a place where the dinosaurs roamed, and the cattle still thrive. It’s a place where you can stop for a tank of gas and leave having met a new friend. It’s a great place to grow up, and an even better place to raise a family. Everybody knows everybody and they are willing to help when there’s a need to be filled. When the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) approached the leaders of Faith with a challenge, they couldn’t turn it down. “When a group like the SDCF puts an offer on the table to raise money for a community savings account (CSA), we knew we needed to jump on it. Between the match grant and the assistance from the SDCF, the challenge offered great possibility for our town. We felt it was the right thing to do in order to help our community grow and prosper,” said Shalyn Hawley, Faith Area Community Foundation (FACF) board member.
This iron sign, made by local resident Zane King welcomes travelers into Faith.
Several volunteers stepped forward and scheduled a dinner for community members wanting to learn more about the opportunity. Beth Massa, Director of Foundation Relations for SDCF attended the meeting. Ray Smith, one of the founding members of the Philip Area Community Foundation, was also invited to attend and share his experiences. “It was a good time for me to reflect on the success of our CSA and what it has meant to the community of Philip. Many of the projects we have funded never would have happened without the financial help of the Philip Area Community Foundation. Each organization that has approached us with a project is a great asset to our community, and we are happy to help them be successful in their goals. It was exciting to see a town like Faith make a long-term investment in the future of their community through the creation of a CSA.” Dana Keffeler of Enning and one of the founding volunteers of the FACF shared her experiences in dealing with the SDCF through a permanent endowment fund for the Rural Meade Ambulance Service. Before the evening was over, nine residents of Faith stepped up to be part of the Advisory Board and made the first contributions to the fund. They know they have work ahead but realize this is the perfect way to help sustain organizations and complete projects in the community. Small communities do not have many funding sources and the FACF helps fill the gaps.
Jim Selby and Ross Fees split the poker tournament winnings at Game Night.
When Shalyn and her husband were preparing to move from Gillette to Faith several years ago, she saw a quote on a billboard stating, “Home isn’t just a place, it’s a feeling”. Seeing that reaffirmed her choice in moving back home as the right thing to do. CSA Spotlight