CERF (Community Emergency Relief Fund) is designated for broad-based community emergencies in Southwest Colorado. Established in 2008 in response to the Season's Restaurant fire, CERF has been activated for the Gold King Mine spill in 2015, the Adobe Building fire in Pagosa Springs in 2016, and the 416 Fire in 2018.
The Community Foundation has activated the Community Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) in response to the COVID-19 protective measures put in place in Southwest Colorado. These measures, such as closures, cancelations, self-quarantines and social distancing, are necessary to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission, and particularly to preserve and protect the capacity of our local healthcare facilities.
Donations are now being accepted to deploy funds to community-based organizations directly responding to the needs of vulnerable members of our community and other organizations that are suffering economic consequences from this pandemic. These resources will be disbursed as needed and as available.
Since March, CERF has infused almost $700,000 into the community. The first two rounds of CERF funding, totaling $201,000, were designated as rapid-response grants distributed in the first two months of the pandemic to 34 human service organizations responding directly to the immediate needs of our community. Another $175,000 was disbursed in July to address financial stability and recovery for 49 nonprofit organizations. $100,000 was utilized to purchase food for regional food pantries and $100,000 was donated to organizations serving youth. Additionally, CERF funds have supported regional projects, such as Southwest Colorado Disaster Assistance (swcoda.org), Save the Food, Feed the People, and the distribution of protective equipment to nonprofits, such as no-touch thermometers.
Community stakeholders, including representatives from public health, local governments, school districts, businesses and nonprofits, will prioritize available funds to meet immediate needs in our region, including public health needs and economic impacts.
Thank you for your generosity in supporting one another during this challenging time!
If you prefer to donate by check: make checks payable to the Community Foundation, with CERF in the memo line, and mail to P.O. Box 1673, Durango, CO 81302.