Vail Valley Charitable Fund: Coming to the rescue in your time of need |

Vail Valley Charitable Fund: Coming to the rescue in your time of need

Pete Brill
Special to the Daily

It can happen to anyone at any time: a slip on an icy driveway, a mysterious bruise, a bike crash, a routine blood test. Suddenly, indiscriminately, life can change due to a shattered knee, an errant blood clot, cancer, virus, sepsis, the list goes on — vicious maladies that no one expects will ever happen to them. Until they do.

At first, there is often denial or anger, but then reality hits. More doctor visits, tests, treatments, surgery, medication. Normal living and everyday routines become more difficult, if not impossible. At this point, many individuals rely on family and friends for help with meals and transportation, or to provide emotional support.

And then the medical bills start to arrive, in quantities and amounts that sometimes seem surreal. Even with insurance, the bills can be daunting. For many, the medical condition requires time off from work, reduced hours and less income. Meanwhile, general living expenses continue, and the bills start piling up. Savings accounts get depleted, credit cards maxed out and very quickly the situation devolves into a full-scale financial crisis.

That’s when the Vail Valley Charitable fund comes to the rescue. As a member of the VVCF board for the past 19 years, I’ve seen this pattern repeat itself a thousand times to local community members like you, your neighbor, your favorite waitress or fellow co-worker.

Our mission is very specific: the Vail Valley Charitable Fund provides financial assistance to Eagle Country residents who have suffered a serious medical condition or long-term illness. Last year, 2019, we distributed $220,000 to 44 individuals and families. Since the organization was founded in 1996, the VVCF has helped more than 1,700 individuals in our community with grants totaling $8.2 million.

For many grant recipients, the financial aid provided by the Vail Valley Charitable Fund is a blessing that saved them from bankruptcy, or maybe it was a simple hand-up to help them get back on their feet. For others, the simple act of compassion gave them renewed hope to continue their fight to heal.

For board members like me, our work has been both gratifying and humbling.  Every month we receive new applications that we review, analyze and vote upon. The need continues and grows every year. Currently, we limit our grants to $5,000 per applicant and we haven’t increased that limit in more than 20 years. But we need to do so in order to keep up with simple inflation and accelerating medical costs.

Fortunately, we live in a prosperous community with compassionate donors that fund our mission and volunteers that make it all happen. Please consider joining us in any capacity or means available. Check us out at, and thanks for your time and consideration.

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