Community Emergency Relief Fund and the Community Foundation disburse emergency funds

By Briggen Wrinkle
Special to The SUN

The second round of Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) granting has been completed, with $50,000 being disbursed across southwest Colorado to human services nonprofits serving vulnerable populations and school districts providing food and child care services. Another $50,000 in matching grants was coordinated by the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado, bringing the total emergency funds distributed this week to $100,000 to 26 organizations across five counties.

Last month, $101,000 in emergency funds was granted to 12 organizations across the region in Round 1 of CERF granting, including matching donations secured by the Community Foundation.

Rounds 1 and 2 of CERF grants have been designated as response funding, addressing immediate needs created by the closures and restrictions put in place during the public health crisis to slow the spread of COVID-19. Examples of these needs include food security, rent and utilities assistance and service to populations disproportionately impacted by this emergency.

We have been working diligently to get this money distributed quickly to the organizations that are seeing increased demand due to the COVID-19 crisis. We will see impacts in the human service sector for a long time as we work to address the most pressing needs.

Organizations receiving funding in Round 2 for Archuleta County are as follows:

• Aspire.

• Food Equity Coalition.

• Loaves and Fishes.

• Pagosa Peak Open School.

The Round 2 matching donations secured through the Community Foundation came from the Town of Pagosa Springs, the Ballantine Family Fund, Bank of Colorado, Bank of the San Juans, First Southwest Bank and TBK, among others.

“Doubling the impact of these vital, rapid-response dollars was an important goal for the Community Foundation, so we were incredibly thrilled when so many local partners stepped up to match our CERF funds,” said Briggen Wrinkle, executive director of the Community Foundation. “As we move into Round 3 funding, addressing nonprofit recovery and stabilization, we are working to find a creative plan to spread these recovery dollars across multiple sectors throughout the region.”

As of May 1, CERF has raised more than $275,000 from local philanthropists and individuals plus $100,000 in matching gifts. CERF is raising funds and serving nonprofits in all five counties in southwest Colorado. CERF is working with other state and local funders to ensure its investment is strategic and supporting the nonprofit sector effectively.


This story was posted on May 12, 2020.