Donations sought for new fund created to help community’s most vulnerable residents
For information and to donate to the Most Vulnerable Fund, visit tmvf.info. All donations are tax deductible.
The Most Vulnerable Fund is a new resource in town designed to help community members who have been hit hard with layoffs and reduced hours due to the COVID-19 restrictions make ends meet.
The website, Tmvf.info, went live on Monday, and the fund’s origins stem back to the last week of March when local retiree Steve Maxwell and KPCW’s John “J.W.” Wells took it upon themselves to help a friend who lost his job at a restaurant pay his bills, said the fund’s cofounder Jack Rubin, also a local retiree.
“After Steve and J.W. helped their friend, they realized that there are a lot of people who are in the same situation,” Rubin said. “So they called me and asked if I had any thoughts.”
The three decided they wanted to make a difference for as many people as quickly as they could.
So, they reached out to some of their friends and asked for pledges, which would become the basis of the Most Vulnerable Fund. Within two days, the group got 21 people who wanted to commit $5,000 or more, and ended up with more than $100,000 of pledges by April 8, according to Rubin.
“This is purely the reflection of the generosity of Park City,” he said. “We didn’t twist any arms, and many of the conversations with our friends lasted less than 30 seconds.”
The pledges didn’t stop there.
“We then started getting calls from other people who our friends had contacted,” Rubin said. “And we’re now in the process of putting together information that will be sent out via email, by each of the founders, to others to see what other traction we can get in increments of other donations.”
After the initial pledges came in, Rubin, Wells and Maxwell needed to learn how to distribute the money and who should receive it.
“While we are pretty good at knowing these people, we don’t know how to find the people who need help,” Rubin said.
The three were led to Rob Harter, executive director of the Christian Center of Park City, which has a food pantry and other programs that serve Summit and Wasatch counties.
“Rob and his team are nothing short of remarkable and outstanding,” Rubin said. “We told him what we wanted to do and, in less than a day, they had a link on their website, ccofpc.org, where people could make contributions to the Most Vulnerable Fund.”
Harter told them that the demand of one of the Christian Center’s programs, an emergency fund that helps people in need pay basic bills like utilities, had spiked, and that he would be happy to work with Rubin, Maxwell and Wells.
“Rob estimated that upwards of $400,000 would be needed over the next several months to help people,” Rubin said.
Harter also directed them to the families and individuals who would benefit from the fund, which is to be used to help people pay for shelter, including rent and utilities.
“The Christian Center knows the people who have historically used their food bank and the emergency fund,” Rubin said. “So we are relying on the Christian Center to address the needs of the most vulnerable as it pertains to housing. We don’t want anyone thrown out of their houses or apartments.”
Rubin knows Congress has been passing bills that will provide monetary help for many people across the country, but said the money will only go so far.
“There are a number of folks who work in restaurants, retail and hospitality that make Park City what it is who are unlikely going to get what they need from those programs,” he said. “So we feel the need will be big, and we want to do something that is quick, effective and large.”
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