TELLURIDE, Colorado (Monday, December 28, 2020) – As we end 2020 and celebrate the holiday season, unfortunately, many in our community are experiencing real need and financial stress. Over the last several months, the Telluride Foundation has heard multiple stories of people whose businesses are suffering or who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19; they have, now, tapped all of their savings and desperately need help to pay the rent. Stories like this continue due to the economic hardship that COVID-19 has wrecked on local families.
The COVID-19 Response Fund was created in March of this year and has raised over $1,200,000 from private donors to date. This Fund supports the Foundation’s Good Neighbor financial assistance program, in partnership with Tri-County Health Network. This program has distributed over $1,050,000 in assistance to support 600 individuals and families, across San Miguel, Ouray, and west Montrose counties and Rico, with their most critical needs: rent, utilities, medical bills, and food. Rent payments are the primary Good Neighbor assistance request, with 78% of funds paid for this essential need. In addition to providing money for Good Neighbor assistance, the Response Fund distributed $320,000 in emergency COVID health and human service grants to healthcare, food banks, volunteer organizing, and internet access organizations.
The COVID-19 Response Fund is now hitting a critical point. The fund balance is running low, and the need is running towards an all-time high, doubling from this past summer to the fall. However, the Johnson Family Foundation has generously offered to match, up to $50,000, all new donations between now and December 31st. If you are able, please consider a COVID-19 Response Fund donation, and it will be matched dollar for dollar.
The COVID-19 Response Fund is the ONLY place community members can apply for direct support. “There is no more meaningful gift, during this holiday season, than one that aids people in our community suffering the most due to the pandemic,” said Paul Major, President & CEO of the Telluride Foundation. “There is an invisible group of people out of view of main street who have been devastated by the economic impacts of COVID-19. We anticipate that we will need to raise another $400,000 to meet the need in the community from now until the spring.”
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.