Hailey Hampa

Hailey Hampa of Buena Vista works an art project with Boys and Girls Club of Chaffee County. Nonprofits as well as businesses, churches and others can tap the new Coronavirus Relief Fund to expand youth programs in the event of more COVID closures this fall.

Chaffee County Community Foundation’s new $200,000 Coronavirus Relief Fund comes with some unique features that will benefit the community. The $52,500 youth portion of the fund can go to support activities by almost any type of organization—not just 501c3 nonprofits.

“We would love to see churches, businesses, fraternal groups and others think creatively about how to use these funds to enhance what they’re already doing for children and youth,” said CCCF executive director Joseph Teipel.

Teipel and the CCCF board have also engineered a workaround that will ensure they comply with the federal CARES Act—source of the money—while allowing successful applicants to plan ahead rather than risk spending their own money and waiting for reimbursement.

“The CARES Act rules require that these funds only be given as reimbursements after expenditures have been made,” said Teipel. “We developed the approach of issuing commitment letters to successful applicants so they can know whether they’ll actually be reimbursed before they spend money.”

 The CARES Act funding was allocated to new relief fund by Chaffee County, the town of Buena Vista and city of Salida via the CARES Act. Organizations are encouraged to review the grant criteria and application ASAP at ChaffeeCommunity.org/CRF. All funds must be spent and submitted for reimbursement by Nov. 30

While the CRF is aimed at meeting immediate needs over the coming months, it is also part of a larger effort to build the Chaffee County Community Foundation’s capacity to meet emergency needs through its Emergency Response Fund—which has given $370,000 to help more than 300 families and individuals survive the pandemic crisis — and to support local nonprofits over the long term.

In anticipation of these needs, the relief fund designates $52,500 for youth care and programs—and this money can be used by businesses, churches and other types of organizations, as well as nonprofits.

“This funding could be very important to our group and others,” said Brian Beaulieu, executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chaffee County.

 BGCCC is already talking with county public health, local recreation programs, GARNA, Guidestone and others about how they could work together to safely offer child-care and youth development activities in the event of more quarantines or closures of local schools.

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