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Aspen Community Foundation Distributes Last of COVID-19 Relief Funds, Totaling Nearly $10 Million

Aspen, CO – October 24, 2022 – This month, Aspen Community Foundation released a report detailing the impact of three COVID-19 relief funds, which distributed nearly $10 million dollars between 2020 and 2022. The 2020 Rescue Fund, COVID-19 Regional Response Fund and Bringing Back Businesses Basalt Fund provided pandemic relief to 48 nonprofit organizations and 123 businesses in the Aspen to Parachute region. The dollars primarily supported housing and utility assistance, food, mental and physical health, and strengthening the community. The funds will continue to impact organizations and individuals in the Aspen to Parachute region through 2022.

“We started convening our nonprofit and government partners the week of the shutdown. We needed to make sure we had a plan and that everyone was connected with each other,” said Valerie Carlin, Cradle to Cradle Director at Aspen Community Foundation. “Through these pandemic response efforts, we’re proud to say we’ve helped at least 15,000 households in our community.”

One of the funds, established by donor philanthropists through Aspen Community Foundation, was the 2020 Rescue Fund. The fund was launched to help nonprofits, small businesses, individuals and families through essential humanitarian assistance. $5,146,000 was donated to 54 nonprofits and 26 businesses supporting local social service nonprofits by 119 donors. 

“COVID funding from Aspen Community Foundation was transformative for our community,”  said Katherine Sand, Director of Aspen Family Connections. “They were extraordinarily responsive and gave us the confidence to channel funds fast and efficiently to the hundreds of families who came to us in desperate need. It would be hard to imagine better collaborative partners than Aspen Community Foundation, and we know from our community how profoundly this assistance helped in terms of sheer survival and morale during a time of great uncertainty and stress.”

Another fund, the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund, was launched directly by Aspen Community Foundation and received contributions from donors who wanted to support the Aspen to Parachute community. Local city and county governments of the City of Aspen, Town of Basalt, Town of Carbondale, Garfield County, Town of New Castle, Pitkin County and the City of Rifle gathered together to mobilize CARES Act funds in the community. Among 182 other donors, Pitkin County contributed $1.8 million for a total of  $4,463,000 donated to businesses and nonprofits, providing economic assistance, food distribution and other essential services including legal aid, domestic violence support, child care, mental health and healthcare. 

“Our staff was overwhelmed and we did not have the financial ability to meet the needs of our community when services shut down,” said Marian McDonough, Regional Director of Catholic Charities. “Aspen Community Foundation quickly reached out to their donors and were able to secure funds to support those in need. The funding and support we received not only helped people stay in their homes, but for our staff, we knew we had the financial means to help.”

The last fund, the Bringing Back Business Basalt Fund, provided restaurant relief for local businesses. Launched by donors, the fund supported small businesses located in the Town of Basalt. $96,000 was donated to 14 businesses to help them mediate economic downturn and increased operational burden due to public health guidelines. 

Aspen Community Foundation is proud to continuously support local nonprofits and households in the Aspen to Parachute region through its grants and relief funds. To read the full COVID-19 Pandemic Response Report, and to learn more about Aspen Community Foundation, visit




About Aspen Community Foundation

Aspen Community Foundation (ACF) builds philanthropy and supports nonprofit organizations by connecting donors to community needs, building permanent charitable funds, and bringing people together to solve community problems. ACF has been working since 1980 to improve the quality of life in the region. Based in Basalt, Colorado, the Foundation’s efforts have an impact in communities throughout the greater Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys. Through ACF’s broad perspective of the region, and depth and breadth of knowledge of community trends, issues, and needs, the organization directs funding where it is needed most to fill gaps in services and programming.


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