Telluride Foundation: Covid-19 Response Fund Update!

Telluride Foundation: Covid-19 Response Fund Update!

The coronavirus is a shared (and daunting) 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 this unique community challenge. Katie’s latest update (5/15) follows.

Response Fundraising

The most common question the Telluride Foundation get is a simple one: What is the need? The answer is no one really knows. What everyone understands is that these are uncertain times, but what the recovery looks like and when it happens will be a collective journey for the entire community in the Telluride region.

The fact is that many of the people the Foundation is helping have never been unemployed, gone to a food bank, or required high-speed internet at home so that their children were able to participate in school. Many of our community members lack a safety net or cushion and the stress of job loss, teaching kids, and the isolation from sheltering at home has only added to those challenges.

However, the good news is that the Foundation has raised over $805,000 to date for the Response Fund. This is an unprecedented and singular demonstration of generosity, kindness and caring for one another. In addition, this past week many donors have said gifts are on the way.

This outpouring of support is truly motivating. The generosity of the extended Telluride community is inspiring and makes everyone on the team excited to work harder to help lay the foundation for a recovery.

Good Neighbor Assistance and Emergency Grants

The Good Neighbor regional emergency hardship assistance program is for families and individuals going through a financial crisis. Because of COVID, a financial crisis is exactly where many find themselves today.

Good Neighbor provides cash assistance for rent, food, medicine, transportation, and other critical human needs. The Foundation has operated Good Neighbor for 15 years. Since mid-March, when coronavirus impacts started closing businesses and schools, the organization increased capacity, including seven Tri-County Health Network staff doing in-take and facilitating applications. The front-line, bi-lingual/bi-cultural staff is inspiring. They not only provide Good Neighbor grants, but also help clients access other public services as well as provide extensive household financial management support.

As of today, the Foundation has funded, or is in the process of funding, 179 Good Neighbor clients for a total of $288,713.

In addition, the Response Fund has provided nine emergency nonprofit grants totaling $210,000 for the three regional health clinics, internet access for distance learning, school districts to provide children’s meals, and the regional food banks.

The Foundation expects to see another round of requests for emergency assistance from food banks and possibly the clinics. Many regional food banks will play a critical role over the summer helping to feed kids since schools will reduce or suspend their meal programs and the umbrella non-profit is in direct contact to understand those needs. The regional clinics are under significant financial strain since they have lost, in some cases, up to 50% of their revenue from people not accessing normal healthcare services.

A Shout Out

This week, the Foundation wants to acknowledge the great work of the staff of Bright Futures for Early Childhood and Families. Bright Futures, a nonprofit serving the greater Telluride region, is dedicated to improving the lives of children and families in the San Juan region.

As businesses and schools closed in response to the Covid-19 crisis, Bright Futures doubled down to serve families and childcare providers, giving whatever support was (and is) needed. Bright Futures remains in continuous on-going contact with over 100 local families in need, providing virtual parenting workshops, and weekly distributing over 80 themed educational activity bags for children under five years through the food banks.

This week Bright Futures and West End Family Link teamed up to acquire a large FEMA shipment of free diapers, wipes and formula for the food banks, childcare centers, and families in need in the region. Bright Futures is supporting the early childcare providers in re-opening June 1st with new safety protocols and provider training.

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