Nobles County Area Disaster Relief Fund created to support communities hardest hit by winter storm

Southwest Initiative Foundation accepting donations to support local communities

In response to devastating winter storms impacting a portion of its southwest Minnesota region this week, Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) created a Nobles County Area Disaster Relief Fund. The fund provides a vehicle to collect tax deductible contributions that will support grants to individuals and businesses in need, fund clean-up and recovery efforts and fund organizations critical to the community in times of crisis.

“Based on what I have heard, several of our communities from Luverne to Jackson will never look the same due to damage of this storm,” said SWIF President/CEO Sherry Ristau. “Worthington and Nobles County have been especially hard hit, and we have initiated a response to assist with both short- and long-term recovery efforts.”

Donations to support these relief efforts can be made to the Nobles County Area Disaster Relief Fund online by credit card through Give MN. A link is available at Or, checks made to SWIF may be sent to 15 3rd Ave. NW, Hutchinson, Minn., 55350. Contact Judy Otto at [email protected] or 800-594-9480 with questions about this fund or making a gift to it.

Along with tremendous damage to trees, power lines and property, thousands of residents in southwest Minnesota have been without electrical power for multiple days. Without power, businesses and major employers have been forced to shut down, creating an economic impact that will be felt as recovery efforts continue.

A related concern is the ripple effects of hourly employees going without paychecks during this shutdown. In addition to creating the Disaster Relief Fund to accept donations, SWIF also awarded grants to local food shelves to purchase more food and supplies in preparation for increased needs.

The Southwest Initiative Foundation is a single connection offering unlimited possibilities to grow and promote people, businesses, entrepreneurs and communities in rural southwest Minnesota. As a regional community foundation, SWIF has contributed more than $58 million through its grant and loan programs. SWIF has helped more than 580 businesses start or expand through its business finance programs, which have created or retained more than 7,700 jobs. SWIF has also established 16 Early Childhood Initiative coalitions, 49 Youth Energy Summit teams, 24 community foundations and more than 80 other funds. The Southwest Initiative Foundation is an equal opportunity provider. To learn more, visit