The Willmar Area Community Foundation (WACF) has been a stakeholder in Vision 2040 community vision/planning process and has invested over $50,000 into the project since its inception in 2013. “WACF sees it as a critical part of our work to help create and enact the community vision for the future. But we have to do more than fund the work, we have to fuel it with the talent and time of the Foundation”, comments WACF Board Chair Sarah Klaassen. Sara Carlson, WACF Executive Director, serves in on the Vision 2040 steering team and in a leadership role. “Vision 2040 builds on our strength s while meeting our challenges head one,” notes Carlson, “We bring longtime residents together with new American to learn, consider options and dream about what our community CAN be, not just what it is today. That’s a powerful recipe for innovation and change in Kandiyohi County.”
By coming together at the Vision 2040 community table, many projects have hatched and transformed. Not only does the community foundation collaborate in fueling talent and time, but many partnerships and relationships have developed within the conservations had at the Vision 2040 community table. With that, the Willmar Area Community Foundation stands alongside many ideas, now becoming a funder of numerous programs and projects developed from Vision 2040 when they fall under WACF’s main focus areas. An example of these new partnerships comprise of major grants from our recent 2017-2018 WACF General Grant round collectively of almost $80,000 including:
Vision 2040 Leadership: to support leadership education through vision 2040 which includes monthly session for the leadership cohort, alumni education opportunities and networking opportunities.
Community Integration Center: to support community gatherings, cultural events, Somali/English language classes and support youth sports.
Iftiin Somali Youth Organization: to provide homework help to students, a health and education class for girls, and a parent support group.
The Village Children’s Museum: to support growth of multi-cultural children’s library to provide early childhood literacy programming and member opportunities for low income families to the children’s
Willmar Community Center: to support the implementation of community drumming circles to promote community and appreciation for diversity.
These are only a few examples of how Vision 2040 has brought upon innovative and collaborative change, to make Kandiyohi County a more inclusive and welcoming place to call home.
Read more about the Willmar Lakes Area Vision 2040 process at www.willmarlakesarea2040.com
To view the full Vision 2040 Progress report, click here.