El Pomar Foundation gives $12,000 to Vail Valley groups | VailDaily.com

El Pomar Foundation gives $12,000 to Vail Valley groups

Lauren Glendenning
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Lauren Glendenning/Vail DailyElaine Kelton, right, a trustee with the El Pomar Foundation, presented grant checks to three Vail Valley, Colorado organizations yesterday. Tsu Wolin-Brown, left, accepted a $5,000 check on behalf of the Vail Valley Salvation Army Food Bank. Food Rescue Express Eagle County received $1,000 and Eagle County Health and Human Services received $6,000.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” Local food banks have been drying up, caseloads for people in need are up and the need is more immediate than ever ” and this is Colorado’s Vail Valley.

Local nonprofits, especially those dealing with health and human services, need more help than they’ve needed in years, maybe ever. The Vail Valley Salvation Army is putting together more than 400 Thanksgiving food baskets today, while the Eagle County Department of Health and Human Services has more than 70 percent more cases than it did in 2007, and there’s still a month and a half left in the year.

On a lighter note, people and organizations are noticing the need and are stepping up to help. Tsu Wolin-Brown, executive director of the Vail Valley Salvation Army, said the response to her organization’s needs is tremendous, such as Friday’s grants from the El Pomar Foundation.

The El Pomar Foundation, based in Colorado Springs, is a private foundation that supplies millions in grants and programs to Colorado nonprofits. Because of the recent economic downturn, the foundation created a $1 million fund ” the Colorado Assistance Fund ” to specifically address the tougher times.

“We don’t have the same access to the resources we would have had a year ago,” said Elaine Kelton, a local trustee with El Pomar.

El Pomar has nine councils throughout the state. Three organizations in our region, which is part of El Pomar’s High Country Regional Council, received $12,000 in grants yesterday ” Eagle County Health and Human Services, Food Rescue Express Eagle County and the Salvation Army Food Bank.

The money comes at a time when everyone is more appreciative than ever, Wolin-Brown said.

Eagle County Health and Human Services suspects the need will only increase and the caseload will continue to increase throughout 2009, said Suzanne Vitale, executive director.

Every little bit helps, she said, and Kelton hopes grants like El Pomar’s will bring more attention to the need and create more support for organizations who help people in need.

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