“The world is not a lonely place, there is light
and life and love enough for all of us.”
– President Gerald R. Ford
In early 2020 the pandemic took hold and left countless local families and individuals suddenly out of work, unable to pay rent, or without enough food. Many of our friends and neighbors faced a future of uncertainty. A host of mental and behavioral health concerns began to increase. Our local youth throughout the Eagle River Valley were also facing adversity. They rapidly became isolated and began falling behind in health, wellness, and education.
Thanks to you, in a matter of weeks, our community came together to help relieve the secondary consequences of the pandemic by creating the VVF Community Fund.
It was a seminal moment for our community. Because of your swift action and exceptional generosity the VVF Community Fund, in April-May of 2020, was able to raise more than $1.2 million in 14 days, shattering our original goal of $450,000.
Ultimately, we received 719 gifts from over 650 individuals, foundations, and institutions which helped the Fund grow to more than $1.5 million. On behalf of our VVF Board of Directors and staff we want to express sincere appreciation and gratitude for your support of the VVF Community Fund. The VVF Community Fund – YOUR fund – had a tremendous impact exactly when it was needed most.
As promised, we disbursed all of the COVID relief funds with a sense of urgency equal to the needs. Our COVID Fund is now closed.
HOW THE FUND BENEFITED THE COMMUNITY:
Funds raised were distributed to approximately 25 local nonprofits representing four key areas of need in the community. Based on known needs and thoughtful discussion, by a steering committee, gifts supported the following critical issues:
We saw increased demand for food by families in need during the pandemic. Nearly 14,000 Eagle County residents were accessing weekly food assistance.
MENTAL & BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
There was a dramatic rise in the need for mental and behavioral health, and domestic violence services, in our valley, during the pandemic. This need continues, and is being addressed in other ways beyond our VVF Community Fund.
SHELTER & HOUSEHOLD ASSISTANCE
During the pandemic, many individuals and families in our valley found themselves suddenly out of work and unable to meet basic needs.
YOUTH EDUCATION & PROGRAMMING
COVID-19 caused a terrible disruption to the critical education and social and emotional health of our valley’s children and youth.
HOW THE FUND DOLLARS WERE ALLOCATED:
Our Steering Committee is comprised of three community members and four members of the VVF Board of Directors and Executive Team. This committee met weekly and deployed funds to the areas of greatest need throughout 2020, 2021, and early 2022.
Steering Committee Community Members
Cheryl Jensen, Mike Rushmore, Dan Pennington
Steering Committee VVF Members
Ann Smead, Steve Coyer, Bob Ford, Mike Imhof