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 katie@telluridefoundation.org.

The Telluride Foundation is committed to providing a weekly update on the resources and response to this unique community challenge. Katie’s latest update (5/22) follows.

Response Fundraising

The Telluride Foundation has raised over $931,000 for the Response Fund, an unprecedented act of generosity, kindness and caring for one another.

Many of the people who we are helping have never been unemployed, gone to a food back, or required internet at home so that their children could participate in school. Many community members do not have a safety net or cushion and the stress of job loss, teaching kids, and the isolation from sheltering at home has only added to their challenges.

The Response Fund (https://telluridefoundation.org/responsefund/) provides funding to help local families and individuals address many of these issues.

Again, the outpouring of support is highly motivating. Such generosity is inspiring and makes the Foundation team excited to work harder to help others and 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, capacity has been ramped up, including 7 Tri-County Health Network staff doing in-take and facilitating applications. These front-line bi-lingual/bi-cultural people are amazing. They not only provide Good Neighbor grants, but also help clients access other public services, as well as provide extensive household financial management support (https://telluridefoundation.org/covid-19-resources-for-individuals/).

This week, the Foundation saw a steady number of requests – 30 applications asking for about $40,000/week. To date, Good Neighbor has funded or is in the process of funding, 202 Good Neighbor clients for a total of $329,629.

In addition, the Response Fund has provided 9 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 of Telluride’s regional food banks will play a critical role over the summer helping to feed kids since schools will reduce or suspend its meal programs. And the Foundation is in direct contact with school districts to access 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

Bright Futures Providing Family Support, Activity Bags, Diapers & More

Local Bright Futures for Early Childhood & Families (BF) has been helping those families who are homebound with young children. The bittersweet process of being in quarantine has, with the help of BF’s activity bags, become a little sweeter!

In coordination with Wilkinson Public Library, Pinhead, Ah Haa School, Sheep Mountain Alliance, and San Miguel Resource Center, BF has distributed over 70 activity bags in the Telluride region with various themed activities, including coloring books, science experiments, and scavenger hunt activities.

One father said how incredible it was to get to spend so much extra time with his three-year old daughter. With the help of BF’s family support specialist, meeting via ZOOM, he learned new tools for helping his daughter build her motor and language skills. He shared that he didn’t know that he could teach his own daughter and felt a huge sense of connection and accomplishment. As he prepares to return to work full-time, he reflected that he could not believe that during the stress of not working, he found such a wonderful and unexpected gift: spending time with his daughter. This family also received from Bright Futures support when applying to the GNF for rental assistance, extra food money, and a month’s worth of diapers, thanks to the FEMA order that arrived in San Miguel County on May 11.

Mountainfilm Rocks On

On March 18, just two short months ago, the staff at Mountainfilm made the tough decision to reinvent their highly anticipated festival. Through what was no doubt a colossal converging of creativity, innovation, and tech expertise, Mountainfilm launched its 42nd annual festival on a 100% virtual platform. Since last Friday, festival-goers have been enjoying inspiring conversations, workshops, and films in the comfort of their own homes. Sage Martin, Mountainfilm’s Executive Director, shared: “Mountainfilm is overwhelmed by the positive response to our virtual festival. We have record pass sales and they are still selling! We hope to inspire our new audiences to help create a better world. Thank you for being a part of Mountainfilm!”

A personal note from Elaine Demas, VP Initiatives,Telluride Foundation:

“My experience this year has been stellar. I have indulged in more movies than I could possibly ever squeeze in during an entire Mountainfilm weekend. I cannot think of anything more worthy of ‘binge watching’ than a string of world-class Mountainfilm movies. Toss in a delicious take-out dinner for two from the Cosmopolitan, complete with one of their home-made desserts, and you’ve got yourself one memorable evening.”

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