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The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


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South Dakotans Can Again Apply for Challenge Grants


Thursday, February 3, 2022   

With constant reminders of crises and turmoil happening around the world, community advocates say it's easy to feel overwhelmed in wanting to make a difference. But an annual grant program is back for 2022, paving the way for improvement projects around South Dakota.

AARP is accepting applications for its Community Challenge grants, which fund smaller, tangible projects that can come together in quick fashion. Judy Larson of Lemmon was awarded a grant a few years ago to set up a pop-up bakery in the town's local library.

"One of the needs that it met was just to get people together, kind of alleviate some loneliness," said Larson. "Provide an extra way of making some dollars for those people that were in the off-season of the farmer's market."

She added that the tables, chairs and other items they bought for the temporary space still are being used for community events.

This year's applicants are encouraged to pitch ideas that complement local implementation of federal investments from the past year, including the American Rescue Plan Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The application deadline is March 22.

While policymakers debate broader issues such as climate change or pandemic responses, Larson said local action can be meaningful when you elevate your community's assets. She said even when it's just temporary, it can have a ripple effect.

"Really look at how you can collaborate with other entities in your small town because that's how you leverage those dollars," said Larson. "You can do a lot more when you collaborate with people. "

The Community Challenge grant program is in its sixth year.

AARP says it has funded more than 800 projects nationwide. Nearly 20 of them have been in South Dakota.

If approved, the project has to be completed by the end of November.

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

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