Park City Community Foundation raises $1 million for nonprofits to ease COVID-19 burdens
How to get help: People living in greater Park City who are struggling with job loss and other challenges due to the coronavirus outbreak, can contact the following nonprofits:
• Christian Center at 435-649-2260 or ccofpc.org
• CONNECT Summit County at or connectsummitcounty.org
• EATS Park City at 435-709-5234 or eatsparkcity.org
• Jewish Family Service at 435-731-8455 or jfsutah.org.
• National Ability Center at 435-649-3991 or discovernac.org
• Peace House at 435-658-4739 or peacehouse.org
• People’s Health Clinic at peopleshealthclinic.org or 435-333-1850
Park City Community Foundation Executive Director Katie Wright is grateful for local generosity.
In less than one month, donors helped the nonprofit raise more than $1 million for its Community Response Fund, which supports health and human services nonprofits that are helping the area’s population affected by the COVID-19 regulations.
“We are working to address the urgent needs of the Park City area’s most vulnerable,” Wright said. “These people may be hourly workers, those with limited English language proficiency, those who don’t have health insurance or sick pay, or because of the nature of their work, they are on the frontlines.”
Park City Community Foundation activated the Response Fund donor link on its website on March 13, and had the funds secured by April 12, according to Wright.
“We’ve had more than 300 people make contributions from anywhere from $15 to $200,000,” she said. “We’ve had families give a donation, and then challenge their friends and neighbors to do the same. We’ve also heard from others who have told us about their rainy-day funds and that the rainy day has arrived. It’s outstanding.”
Park City Community Foundation dedicated $50,000 from its operating reserves to the fund due to the urgency of the situation, while Park City’s government also granted $50,000, Wright said.
Other notable donors included the Katz Amsterdam Charitable Trust and Vail Resorts, which provided $200,000 each, she said.
“We’ve also have community groups like the Rotary Clubs, Leadership Park City and businesses like Berkshire Hathaway and High West Distillery as well as neighborhoods like the Colony and Promontory step up and ask other people to join in,” Wright said. “I love to watch how people come together to work together, and it’s amazing to see people who are in a position to help doing what they can.”
Park City Foundation has already distributed $300,000 to seven nonprofits, she said.
The money is supporting basic assistance through the Christian Center of Park City and Jewish Family Service; helping with physical and mental health access through People’s Health Clinic, CONNECT Park City and Peace House; addressing food insecurity through the Christian Center’s food pantry and EATS Park City’s backpack programs for families, and is supporting the National Ability Center that is offering housing to Park City Hospital workers, Wright said.
“One of the best practices in crisis philanthropy is to lean on organizations that work with vulnerable people every day,” she said. “We know there are people in the community who are experiencing a crisis for the first time, and we really encourage them to reach out to these organizations, because they have services in place for this.”
One of the benefits of the response fund is that the money can be spent flexibly by its recipients, Wright said.
“We know that things are uncertain, and although we might have an idea about some of the troubles that lie ahead, we want to be a community that can be very proactive and responsive to emerging challenges,” she said. “So these funds can serve problems as they come.”
Park City Community Foundation was prepared to raise the Community Response Fund thanks to various webinars and discussions with other community foundations in the state and around the country, Wright said.
“About a week before things hit our community, we participated in a webinar put on by the Seattle Area Community Foundation, which helped inform us about the first issues that we would need to address regarding COVID-19,” she said. “I continued to be in conversation with other mountain-town community foundations and others throughout the state of Utah to hear about other innovative solutions that we could try and address here.”
Although the Community Response Fund had reached $1 million, the Park City Community Foundation is still accepting donations, Wright said.
“We have a matching grant with High West Distillery, so we can double our efforts,” she said.
Donations and other information about the fund can be found by visiting parkcitycf.org/communityresponsefund.
“We have a long haul in front of us, and I think the sobering reality is that many people will not be back at work in a full-time nature for quite a while,” Wright said. “Some of those urgent needs will persist for a while, and we feel the Community Foundation is equipped and up for the job.”
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