ACF'S COVID-19 REGIONAL RESPONSE EFFORTS

Since March 2020, our region has been heavily impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19. Businesses have cut back operations, events have been canceled, and schools have closed. It is not business as usual. The safety and well-being of everyone in the community is the top priority. And, we know that many will feel the impacts of this virus for months to come. Because of the generosity of dozens of individuals, families, businesses, foundations, and governments, more than $7 million has been raised to help individuals and families impacted by the pandemic.

MARCH 2021 REPORT

COVID-19 Regional Response Fund

Aspen Community Foundation (ACF) responded to the pandemic by establishing the COVID-19 Regional Response Fund to channel needed resources to respond to the immediate and long-term needs of the Aspen to Parachute region. Monies raised have been disbursed to nonprofit organizations or government entities supporting access to appropriate healthcare and meeting essential human needs such as food access, rent and utility assistance, and emergency services for individuals and families impacted by the virus.

As an organization committed to serving the Aspen to Parachute region since 1980, we are called to action to help those impacted by the disaster and disruption. Beginning with Hurricane Katrina and through 2018's Lake Christine Fire, ACF has been directing philanthropic support to those in need.

If you would like to support children, families, and individuals impacted by COVID-19, please consider giving to ACF's emergency assistance fund, mental health fund, or gap fund. 

2020 Rescue Fund

A group of local Aspenites have been working together, and with Aspen Community Foundation, on an approach to help those individuals, families, nonprofits, and small businesses severely impacted by the health and financial crisis. They have established the 2020 Rescue Fund as a charitable fund at Aspen Community Foundation.

The leaders of the group, Bob Hurst, Melony Lewis, and Jerry Greenwald have broadened the fundraising and, together with 35 locals, have pledges in hand of $5 million. Melony Lewis explained that by broadening the numbers of supporters and amount of funding raised, the group will have more ability to support those in dire need. “We know that the needs are far beyond what we could each do individually; collectively, we can make a real difference,” she said.

The 2020 Rescue Fund, working with Aspen Community Foundation, is supporting social service nonprofits that are providing essential humanitarian assistance during the crisis, helping individuals who “fall through the cracks” receive the assistance they need, and seek ways to address gaps that will exist in the region due to the scale of issues.

Jerry Greenwald made the point that the three leaders of the group are spending a lot of time talking with Aspen Community Foundation, county and city officials, social service nonprofits, health organizations, educational leaders, and other knowledgeable people to assess the needs of the community and “to ensure that grants are distributed to the most needy on a timely basis, with efficiency and effectiveness.”