The Emergency Family Assistance Association received a $200,000 matching donation from a Boulder family to help with local coronavirus relief efforts.
Officials at the Boulder nonprofit, which seeks to help people with needs for food, shelter and other basic necessities, said the match offer is intended to help the organization meet its fundraising goal of of $400,000 by June 30. The family made the donation anonymously.
“We’re the community’s main safety net,” said Julie Van Domelen, EFAA’s executive director. “There are a lot of people in our community who have trouble making ends meet in a normal month. They’re not able to weather something like this.”
Her goal is to provide $700,000 in direct, emergency financial assistance for Boulder and Boulder County mountain residents through June 30. Along with private donations, the organization has received money from the Community Foundation of Boulder County, Boulder County and grants.
“That match is really important,” she said. “That’s a lot of money to raise in a short period of time. Our goal is to meet the needs of as many people as we can. The need is huge out there.”
The plan is to provide those impacted by the coronavirus with money for critical expenses, including rent and mortgage payments, utility bills and medical care.
The organization is looking to nearly double the amount of financial assistance it would typically provide, assisting more than 800 households with financial relief through the end of June.
A household with children would receive up to $1,000 in emergency assistance, while a household without children would receive up to $600. Caseworkers also connect families to other organizations, including helping them access mental health services and help for those who are uninsured.
Along with lay-offs, she said, there are people who can’t work because they’re quarantined or because they lost childcare when schools closed.
“All of that is rippling through people who didn’t have a lot of emergency savings built up,” she said. “There are going to be a lot of holes in our safety net from the federal level. We’re going to prioritize filling those.”
Plans also include increasing emergency food distribution to meet the increased need. EFAA is serving 350 to 400 households per week through its food bank after switching to a prepackaged, grab-and go food model to safely provide food. Since March 13, EFAA’s food bank has distributed 2,304 grab-and-go bags.
Along with monetary donations, the organization is asking for donations of non-perishable food deliveries from Amazon or directly to help fill the pantry, especially as disruptions to food deliveries has made it more challenging to stay stocked.
“We want to make sure we can continue to operate our food pantry and scale it up,” Van Domelen said. “We want to prevent people becoming food insecure and have to deal with hunger on top of everything else.”
While the focus is on immediate needs, she said, the organization is anticipating long-term economic impacts that will create an increase in need for months to come.
“I don’t think the economic shocks are going to go away by June 30,” she said.
To donate to EFAA’s matching gift campaign, go to efaa.org/donate or mail a check to 1575 Yarmouth Ave. and write “Match Campaign” in the memo line.