TELLURIDE, Colorado (Friday, April 17, 2020) – This week, as the federal government was announcing the release of individual taxpayer stimulus checks, a Telluride resident reached out to the Telluride Foundation and asked how she could donate her check to help families who are struggling during this pandemic. After some back and forth, the resident said, “I want to ‘Stimulate the Response!’” This generous community member, in addition to another 120 donors, have contributed to the Telluride Foundation’s Coronavirus Response Fund, raising over $550,000 to date since the start of the pandemic. Today, the Telluride Foundation is launching its “Stimulate the Response” campaign to ask community members to consider contributing their stimulus checks to the regional Coronavirus Response Fund.
As the community grapples with all the many challenges from the coronavirus, heroes emerge everywhere. From the selfless healthcare professionals to food bank volunteers, from essential grocery workers to community members giving their stimulus checks to help others less fortunate, many people in our communities are giving so much to so many.
The Response Fund was established immediately as the coronavirus impacts started to hit our communities. The regional Response Fund was ready to deploy funds to families and individuals struggling with the sudden loss of employment. The Fund is based on the Telluride Foundation’s 20-year record of meeting community needs, grant making, and managing funds. The Response Fund focuses on 1) hardship grants to vulnerable individuals and families, including to immigrants who may not have access to other programs, through the Good Neighbor Fund; 2) emergency grants to nonprofits, focusing on health and human service organizations that need to increase services due to coronavirus; and 3) students needing internet access or infrastructure to participate in on-line learning. The Good Neighbor Fund has been around for over 15 years, quietly and in the background, helping hundreds of families over that time.
The Foundation has expanded the Good Neighbor Fund to ensure families and individuals in San Miguel, Ouray, and west Montrose counties, as well as Rico, are supported, especially during these uncertain times due to the coronavirus. The Good Neighbor Fund has seen a surge of applications in the past two weeks, for everything from food and medicine to transportation and rent assistance. San Miguel County is also providing funding for mental health services through the Good Neighbor Fund. In addition, generous donors in Ouray County have created the Ouray County Response Fund, which provides Good Neighbor Fund grants specifically to Ouray County residents.
In the past three weeks, the Good Neighbor Fund has seen over 80 applications requesting $120,000 in assistance. Typically, the Good Neighbor Fund received three to four requests per month. In addition, the Response Fund has provided eight emergency nonprofit grants totaling $200,000, including for food banks, internet access, and regional health clinics. The most recent emergency grant was awarded to the Telluride Medical Center for $75,000 to support its Phase II Surge Program.
For more information about or how to donate to the Telluride Foundation’s regional Coronavirus Response Fund, https://telluridefoundation.org/responsefund/; for community resources and how to apply to the Fund, https://telluridefoundation.org/covid-19-community-resources/ ; or for more information about the Ouray County Response fund, https://telluridefoundation.org/ouray-county-response-fund/.
The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride and regional community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. 2020 marks 20 years of making more possible through the Telluride Foundation’s commitment to enrich the quality of life of the residents, visitors, and workforce of the Telluride region. Currently, we are meeting this mission through our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We have created the regional Coronavirus Response Fund, which supports community-based organizations and vulnerable individuals and families in the Telluride region, including San Miguel, Ouray, west Montrose counties and Rico. The Fund is targeted to assist in three urgent areas: 1) the Good Neighbor Fund, family/individual emergency assistance for food, rent, medical (including behavioral health treatments); 2) emergency grants to health and human service nonprofits, including regional medical clinics, food banks, and schools to provide meals for students; 3) expanded internet access and infrastructure necessary for students and teachers to participate in remote learning. Please click HERE to read more or donate now.