Telluride Foundation: COVID-19 Response Fund Update

Telluride Foundation: COVID-19 Response Fund Update

The coronavirus is truly a shared community experience. The effects on the economy and health are unprecedented. Frequently Asked Questions about the Telluride Foundation’s Covid-19 Response Fund. Click HERE to make a donation or contact Katie Singer at (970) 729-1807 or

The Telluride Foundation is committed to providing a weekly update on the resources and response to our shared community challenge. Katie’s latest update (5/8) follows.

Response Fundraising

To date, the Telluride Foundation has raised over $770,000 to respond to the coronavirus impacts on our community members.

As everyone watches and listens to the heartbreaking stories of the impacts of the coronavirus on neighbors and friends, it is inspirational to see the incredible generosity of people helping people. The outpouring of support is truly motivating, inspiring us to work harder to help people and to lay the foundation for our recovery.

Some other community Response Fund efforts include:

SMPA recently highlighted the COVID-19 Response Fund and our “Stimulate the Response” campaign in its utility bill newsletter. Click here to read.

Telluride Gallery of Fine Art launched its new online store on Monday, May 4, 2020. Ten percent of all gallery sales between May 5 – June 5 will be dedicated to the Telluride Foundation COVID-19 Response Fund. Go here for more and where to order.

Good Neighbor Assistance and Emergency Grants

Since the coronavirus began to shake our world starting in mid-March, the Foundation has funded, or are in the process of funding, over 154 Good Neighbor clients for a total of $252,147.43.

The Foundation has operated the Good Neighbor Fund (GNF) for 16 years, providing individual and family cash assistance to community members in need. In the past, the GNF received 2 to 3 applications a month. Now, the GNF is a lifeline for many local families.

The Response Fund has provided 9 emergency grants totaling $210,000 to nonprofits, including the regional health clinics, internet access, school districts to provide children’s meals and the regional food banks. Two of the most recent emergency grants were awarded to the Telluride Medical Center and the Basin Clinic in Naturita.

The Foundation’s food pantries in Telluride, Norwood, Ridgway, and Nucla are continuing to see double and triple demand. The Norwood food pantry reported that they served 357 individuals during the month of April, of which 43% were first time visits to the pantry.

Celebrating Community Heroes

Carla Reams has been working with the Telluride Foundation as part of its “Telluride Regional Business Recovery. Relaunch” Project.

The Telluride Foundation wants to acknowledge the many people who are working for the Telluride regikon in response to COVID-19. This week, a special shout out goes to Carla Reams, who has been working with the Telluride Foundation as part of its “Telluride Regional Business Recovery Relaunch” Project.

Workforce Helping Hand

Carla is contracted by the Telluride Foundation as part of the rural workforce skills-based development pilot project, “Skillful-West End,” has now become the go-to regional resource on all things relating to unemployment.

Carla has assisted many businesses which have been compassionately trying to hurdle through the hoops in doing what is not only in the best interest of their companies, but also of their employees. While many businesses were forced to lay employees off until other means of funding was available, such as PPP or EIDL loans, Carla was able to go over options with those businesses as it pertained to their employees. She assisted several job-attached employees, with filing for unemployment. Most recently, she assisted 9 self-employed workers file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance in one day.

“Carla is so knowledgeable about HR and unemployment. And so willing to help answer questions. What a gift! I’ve called her several times and she has clear answers for what I thought were complicated questions. Thank you, Carla, for being so open and easy to speak with, and for demystifying unemployment. We are truly grateful!” Judy Kohin, Executive Director, Ah Haa School for the Arts.

Business Recovery Helping Hand

Bonnie Watson, the Telluride Foundation’s Capital & Transaction Advisor, is heading up the Business Recovery Relaunch Project, supporting businesses with Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and Telluride Regional Loans. She recently received this thank you from a local business owner:

“You saved my business. The work that all of you are doing (specifically SUCO, OEDIT, state and local governments, regional calls, community, and commercial banks, ERT’s, EDO’s, foundations) acts as the lighthouse in the fog. Small business owners are fighting to keep their business alive. But all of you are taking on the burden of keeping us all alive and that is not an easy but certainly a monumental task. Thank you from all of the small businesses on the main streets in rural Colorado. I don’t think you truly understand the difference you are making. Thank you.”

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