United Way of Eagle River Valley has $100K to give away
Second round of COVID-19 relief grants is open with Aug. 23 deadline to apply
The United Way of Eagle River Valley is looking to give away $100,000 in COVID-19 relief this month.
According to Rebecca Kanaly, the organization’s executive director, this marks the second, and larger, round of COVID-19 grant opportunities from the local United Way. The deadline for application is Sunday, Aug. 23.
The $100,000 will provide grants up to $10,000 for relatively unsupported programs responding to COVID-19 crisis-related immediate and mid-term needs. Kanaly noted that $37,000 will specifically support people who either live or work in Vail. The town of Vail donated the $37,000 in funding to the United Way and a private family foundation, which has chosen to remain anonymous, matched that grant. Another $30,000 will specifically support local nonprofit organizations that have been impacted negatively by the crisis.
Beyond those earmarks, Kanaly said the grant program is open for all. Individuals, groups, or 501c3 nonprofits involved in COVID-19 response work may apply.
“United Way really covers the gamut,” Kanaly said. “We are generally looking for the under-noticed effort. We want to celebrate our local heroes. Not only the first responders but also neighbors helping neighbors, all those people who are stepping up.”
Wave of need
Kanaly acknowledged that $100,000 is a tidy sum to give away. “But we definitely wish we had so much more,” she said.
To illustrate, she noted that back in March, it only took a couple of weeks for Eagle County to distribute $900,000 in rent relieve payments. “If that had continued, the county would need $1 million every month for people to make rent,” she said.
Back in March, United Way of the Eagle River Valley gave out $30,00 in COVID-19 relief grants:
- $5,000 to Habitat for Humanity for mortgage relief
- $5,000 to Swift Eagle Charitable Foundation for rent relief
- $5,000 to Vail Valley Charitable fund for mortgage/rent relief
- $5,000 to New Life Assembly of God for rent relief
- $5,000 to United Way of Eagle River Valley (as fiscal sponsor) for meal delivery from Foodsmiths and Loaves and Fishes
- $5,000 to Small Champions for rent and food assistance
Kanaly noted that the new round of funding isn’t restricted to rent or food relief requests. For example, a senior citizens group has requested money to purchase computer tablets for local elderly residents who are confined to their homes because they such a vulnerable population for COVID-19. The request noted that the technology would help the seniors stay connected and keep them from feeling so isolated.
“That was definitely a COVID request, but not in the traditional sense,” Kanaly said.
As the organization contemplates how to send out money, Kanaly offered thanks to everyone who donated funds to the effort — from large municipal donations to matching funds to individual gifts.
“People just really wanted the money to go to the people who are suffering right now because of the pandemic,” she said. “Some people actually donated their stimulus checks when they got them. The idea is to get to people who need the help right now.”
To learn more or to apply for a grant, visit unitedwayeagle.org/covid-response-philanthropy-fund.