As the coronavirus continues to spread, many charities and organizations are working tirelessly to help the most vulnerable in our region. With supplies and services stretched thin at all levels, the Paso del Norte Community Foundation established the COVID-19 Response Fund in partnership with United Way of El Paso to receive contributions from our generous community. Today, nearly $300,000 has been granted to more than 20 nonprofit organizations. The following are two stories about organizations that are using these funds to make a difference in the region.
The Alliance of Border Collaboratives (ABC) received $15,000 to support the homeless individuals living in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez. The funds were used to distribute personal protective equipment along with educational resources in English and Spanish, distributed 130 individual shelter tents, and set up and replenish more than 90 hand-washing stations in homeless encampments, all to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“Making resources available to the most vulnerable during this pandemic is challenging,” said Gilbert Pérez, Alliance of Border Collaboratives Project Coordinator. “The added funding from the Paso del Norte Community Foundation expanded our reach in El Paso and Ciudad Juárez.”
ABC also made food accessibility easier for the homeless and those without transportation. Their food pantry provides smaller nonperishable items that can be easily carried out and stored. A community refrigerator located on their outside porch is stocked with food and beverages available 24/7 for those in need. To learn more about Alliance of Border Collaboratives, click here.
The Armed Services YMCA El Paso received $4,708 to help Fort Bliss military and El Paso families with food and necessary baby supplies. The funds were used to hire part-time personnel to coordinate volunteers and outreach programs, along with purchasing baby supplies.
“Paso del Norte Community Foundation is helping further our mission to enhance the lives of junior enlisted service members, El Paso community and their families during quarantine,” says Diana Miller, Armed Services YMCA Development Manager. “The additional support, and new partnerships has helped us to reach those most in need in our community.” Also, George Elsaesser, Armed Services YMCA Executive Director, added “this type of collaboration has been essential to support El Paso and Fort Bliss during these hard times to fight hunger, and to respond in the pandemic.” He highlights that the only way to get pass this is “to do it together and in collaboration.”
With great planning and coordination, the Armed Services YMCA provided more than 900 families and 5,000 individuals with healthy food and more than 1,000 baby kits in two months. The power of volunteering from individuals and collaboration from corporate organizations also helped with food distribution, social services, filling out of Census applications and more. To learn more about the Armed Services YMCA click here.
For a complete list of organizations that received COVID-19 Response funding, click here.