Introducing the Watertown Relief Fund

Introducing the Watertown Relief Fund

Published March 2020

The Watertown Area Community Foundation Board has established the Watertown Relief Fund to support emergency needs of nonprofit organizations, and charitable groups in their increasing efforts to serve others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Governor Kristi Noem stated earlier this week, we may not see the peak of the COVID-19 cases until mid-May/early June. “There is a long journey ahead, but we’re in this together,” said Jan DeBerg, WACF executive director.

“In these trying times, I’m pleased the Watertown Area Community Foundation is able to proactively provide assistance through the support of the Watertown Relief Fund,” added WACF Board Chair Charlie Ewalt.  “Based on the recommendation of Jan DeBerg, Executive Director, coupled with the full support of the Board, we were able to streamline the process, and get funding available without delay, to assist the Watertown community.  It’s gratifying to see the value which the Watertown Area Community Foundation can provide.”

The Foundation Board awarded one emergency grant from the fund already. A $10,000 grant was awarded to Watertown Community Cares in its efforts to get 500 boxes of food distributed weekly to those in need during the crisis, particularly while school is not in session.

The WACF Watertown Relief Fund is there to help organizations, and ultimately the people they serve, in a time of community crisis. Organizations within a 30-mile radius can apply on-line at: or fill out the application and mail it to the Foundation using PO Box 116, Watertown, SD  57201. As always, the Foundation cannot award grants to individuals, but there will be many individuals served by the grants that are awarded. A decision by the WACF Board will be made within 48 hours of receiving the grant application and the applicants will be notified immediately with the results.

“We are making history and hearing a lot of bad news in the midst of this pandemic,” said DeBerg. “The good news is we’re seeing people come together and make a difference during this significant time of need.”

Whether you work in the healthcare arena, school district, government entity or you’re a church or organized group gathering food and other necessities for families who need it, the Watertown Area Community Foundation thanks everyone who is stepping up to serve at this difficult time, she said.

If you are a nonprofit organization, group or church in immediate need of funds to help the people you serve due to COVID -19, we urge you to apply to the Watertown Relief Fund for an emergency grant. Find the grant application on our website:

If you wish to join the Foundation in supporting individuals impacted by the Coronavirus, consider donating to the Watertown Relief Fund. You may do so online at: or by mailing your gift to the Foundation at PO Box 116, Watertown, SD 57201.

We are working together to help those affected by COVID-19. “Working together has been the foundation for making Watertown a great place to live, work and raise a family,” DeBerg concluded. “That statement is true whether we are enduring times of crisis or whether we are talking about our past, present or future.”

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