El Pomar Foundation distributes $73,500 in COVID-19 aid to nonprofits in southwestern Colorado

By Kyle Boyle
El Pomar Foundation

Since March 17, organizations in southwestern Colorado received grants totaling $73,500 from El Pomar Foundation’s Colorado Assistance Fund. 

The $1 million fund was established by the foundation’s trustees on March 9, within a week of Colorado’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, and provided immediate aid to nonprofit organizations and government entities meeting basic human needs and supporting access to appropriate health care for individuals and communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The following organizations in Archuleta County received grants:

• Archuleta Seniors Inc. — $5,000 for food distribution efforts related to COVID-19.

• Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado — $2,500 for information distribution for service access related to COVID-19.

• Community United Methodist Church — $5,000 for food distribution efforts related to COVID-19.

• Dr. Mary Fisher Medical Foundation — $2,500 for medical needs and services related to COVID-19.

• Loaves and Fishes of Archuleta County, Colorado — $1,500 for food distribution efforts related to COVID-19.

• United Way of Southwest Colorado — $5,000 for rent and utilities assistance related to COVID-19 through the Pagosa Outreach Connection.

The $1 million fund supported 175 unique organizations in 48 counties of Colorado, with grant amounts ranging from $1,000 to $25,000. Grants supported a range of emergency services such as food banks, rent and utility assistance, and medical supplies.

“We are grateful for the nonprofit organizations and their staffs who have selflessly stepped up to support individuals and communities in need during this pandemic,” said Kyle Hybl, El Pomar Foundation president and CEO. “In establishing the Colorado Assistance Fund, El Pomar Foundation’s trustees aimed to deliver funds as quickly as possible to support critical needs.”

Organizations were nominated for funding by public health departments or members of El Pomar Foundation’s regional councils. Part of El Pomar’s Regional Partnerships Program, regional councils regularly provide grant recommendations to El Pomar trustees. Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Colorado, regional council members have been in regular contact with El Pomar staff and trustees to provide firsthand insight regarding their communities’ most critical and emergent needs.

With the original $1 million disbursed, El Pomar Trustees approved another $1.1 million for an additional phase of the Colorado Assistance Fund. Each of El Pomar’s 11 regional councils will recommend a strategy for the allocation of $100,000 in their multicounty region of Colorado. The focus of these dollars is to support longer-range recovery efforts to encourage the eventual return of healthy, functioning communities across Colorado as they emerge from the current COVID-19 crisis.

El Pomar’s trustees also dedicated $100,000 from the foundation’s Freda Hambrick Fund to support pet food banks, or to support veterinary clinics in covering costs of pet food or veterinarian expenses for families that have been impacted by COVID-19 and are unable to afford those expenses.

This additional phase marks the seventh time the El Pomar Foundation has dedicated a Colorado Assistance Fund. Prior to the phase established in March for COVID-19 immediate aid, the five previous funds were established during and in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and distributed more than $5 million between 2008 and 2012.

To view a full listing of El Pomar’s funds and grant making areas, please visit our website at https://www.elpomar.org/grant-making/.

This story was posted on June 15, 2020.