Black Hills area

BHACF Awards $66,000 in Community Action Grants

Apr 12, 2024 | Grant Stories, News and Releases

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation has awarded $66,000 total in Community Action Grants to two Black Hills nonprofits. Working Against Violence, Inc (WAVI), a nonprofit that supports those affected by domestic and sexual violence as well as human trafficking and stalking, will receive $50,000, while The Mammoth Site, a museum and paleontological site, will receive $16,000. 

The Community Action Grant is the Community Foundation’s signature grant program, offered to nonprofit endowment holders that employ innovative ideas, leverage community projects, and focus on sustainable practices.   

“These awards are an example of the broad scope of charitable impacts that our foundation provides through our grants.  WAVI is a critical ‘backbone’ human services nonprofit organization in Rapid City while the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs is providing an amazing educational opportunity,” said Liz Hamburg, CEO of the Black Hills Area Community Foundation. 

WAVI will use the grant to expand its services for clients located on Pine Ridge Reservation using a new passenger van. “Because of the generous gift, we were able to purchase a van to allow for increased transportation of the women, children, and men we serve,” said Linda Shroll, executive director at WAVI.    

Within Pine Ridge, the van will help connect clients with case management and referrals, medical or legal advocacy, assessments, and more. Clients can now travel to and from Pine Ridge and a safe shelter in Rapid City if requested.  

The increase in mobility also allows WAVI to partner with the Peaceful Means Project, a program established in part by the University of Nebraska, that offers sexual violence prevention and self-defense training to students in the Oglala Sioux Tribe. WAVI provides emotional support and education to those who receive disclosures from the students.    

“WAVI’s steadfast commitment to create a community free of domestic violence and sexual assault through advocacy, education, and support services is no small feat, and it is our honor to partner with them to increase access to valuable services in our community for those they serve,” said Carrie Robley, Director of Community Impact at Black Hills Area Community Foundation. 

The Mammoth Site will use its grant to purchase an outdoor shade structure for a youth summer camp, which will be offered free of cost, opening in 2024. Under the shade structure, children ages 8-12 will excavate, record, and interpret bone specimens in a simulated dig site.  

Seth Vandenberg, science educator at the Mammoth Site, said this experience “helps kids realize that science isn’t something to be afraid of — it’s a bunch of dedicated people working together trying to answer questions and find solutions. Our hope is that kids realize they can be part of that process,” he said.  

“We are thrilled to support one of the educational gems in the Black Hills, the Mammoth Site. Because the Mammoth Site is an active paleontological dig site, it is a pivotal resource for educating the public about modern paleontological methods through its hands-on, minds-on educational programs and its accredited museum,” Robley said. 


About the Black Hills Area Community Foundation: 

The Black Hills Area Community Foundation is a registered public charity, operating as a 501(c)(3) organization. It serves as a custodian for a diverse collection of funds aimed at benefiting the Black Hills region. In addition to its financial stewardship role, the Foundation actively leads discussions addressing pressing regional concerns, such as affordable housing and food security.