Telluride Foundation: Community Heroes Among Us, Update!

Telluride Foundation: Community Heroes Among Us, Update!

The following is a note from The Telluride Foundation from Paul Major, President & CEO. More heroes as of 3/20.

Telluride Foundation’s Paul Major.

As the staff is out working with our community partners assessing immediate needs and dig into issues, we are surfacing local hero’s making great things happen. I wanted to share some of the stories that we are hearing daily.

1. The Telluride Foundation’s Community Response Fund has raised more than $45,000 in 48 hours from generous individual donors; this fund will support the Good Neighbor Fund individual hardships grants and emergency grants to nonprofits, as well as additional community needs that surface as a result of the coronavirus.

2. Nucla-Naturita Telephone Company is providing free internet service to any West End student lacking internet access at home while schools are closed and moving to distance learning platforms.

3. Tri-County Health Network was asked by San Miguel County to coordinate people who want to help and volunteer their time, including people with medical experience and volunteer drivers for food banks. TCHNetwork is managing this effort to connect those who are willing to volunteer with community needs; if you are interested contact

4. Two new Facebook pages have recently emerged around the theme of neighbors helping neighbors. In the West End, “West End Too Blessed to Be Stressed” allows local residents to post their own needs or the known needs of others. When seniors posted that they needed groceries, community members responded with help immediately. In Ouray County, a Facebook page called, “Ouray County Helping Hands,” allows any resident to post needs and to respond with ways they can help.

5. Food Banks, including the Telluride, West End Family Link, Ouray County, and Norwood food banks, are all rallying to meet increased needs, providing pickup and delivery services to seniors and those too at-risk to come into the food pantry in person and expanding hours of operation to accommodate the increasing number of people who need food during this time.

6. The regional school districts are developing creative approaches to ensure all students have access to lunches and breakfasts, while schools are closed. No child will be turned away. For example, the Norwood School District is working with Maggie’s Pizza in Norwood, which volunteered to distribute and coordinate to-go lunches/breakfasts. Both West End and Norwood school districts will be offering lunches throughout spring break. All of our school districts are working hard to ensure that any child, regardless of need, is fed.

Adding to the above, just in from Paul Major:

Things are changing very quickly for all of us; however, we continue to be grounded by the amazing stories of people helping each other throughout our communities. They are our community heroes: volunteers, health professionals, local governments, and donors. They are making things happen! The following are a few examples:

• Town of Mountain Village is providing internet hot spots for free for everyone in Village Court Apartments to ensure school age kids can access their on-line learning.

• Clearnetworx is providing free internet service to many families in Norwood and Redvale.

• Tri-County Health Network (TCHNetwork) has received over 100 inquiries from people on how to volunteer.

• A restaurant owner offered to provide meals for the local healthcare professionals.
Someone called to suggest that if the federal government does issue checks to everyone in the US, those who can could donate the check to the emergency hardship fund for our most vulnerable.

• A second homeowner is providing housing for a TCHNetwork staff member, managing the volunteer program, since his current house doesn’t have internet service.

• The Telluride Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund has received over $55,000 in donations towards emergency grants to nonprofits and hardships grants to individuals and families.

• And for creativity: Mountain Film is going all virtual; Ah Haa School is giving kids bags of clay, to drive by and pick up, and on-line instruction for making a clay work of art.

Note: The Foundation partnered with the Colorado Department of Economic Development, US Senator Michael Bennet’s office, and Region 10 to host a call for small business owners and entrepreneurs on economic recovery resources; over 250 people participated.

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