The Chaffee County Community Foundation (CCCF) awarded $32,350 in charitable grants in early July to 18 organizations serving Chaffee, Lake, Fremont and Custer counties, funded by the Sangre de Cristo Electric Association (SDCEA) Community Grant Program. This is the first year of a partnership between SDCEA and CCCF to manage SDCEA’s Matching and Community Grant programs.

“We are so pleased to be able to partner with CCCF and help organizations in need receive much-needed grant money. The organizations do such important work in our communities. Many are directly assisting those hard-hit by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” SDCEA Chief Executive Officer Paul A. Erickson said. “At its core, SDCEA is a community-based organization. We are thankful to be able to help address some of our community’s most pressing needs with the Power of Change and SDCEA Community Grant programs.”

Applications for the community grants were taken online through CCCF’s grant portal with a deadline to apply for a 2020 grant of June 5. Grants were evaluated by six members of CCCF’s grants committee, bringing more than 45 years of combined grants experience to the review and evaluation process. “This partnership with Sangre de Cristo is truly incredible and we are honored to provide this grant review and administration service to such an important community partner like SDCEA,” CCCF Executive Director Joseph Teipel said.

SDCEA’s Community Grant Program funding is made possible by allocating capital credits donated back to the cooperative for charitable giving. Added to the total are the generous contributions of SDCEA consumers who participate in the Power of Change (formerly Operation RoundUp) program. Power of Change funds are added to the Community Grant Program fund allocation.

Power of Change participants round their bill up each month to the nearest dollar. For example, a monthly bill of $52.74 would be rounded-up to $53. The extra 26 cents are then pooled with other consumers’ donations and placed in the Power of Change program. Power of Change donations may be tax-deductible. To sign up for the Power of Change program, please visit SDCEA’s website, myelectric.coop and read about the details under the Community tab.

2020 grant recipients include: Lake County Search & Rescue; St. George Episcopal Church; Achieve, Inc. (The Little Engine Eatery); Ark Valley Helping Hands; Ark Valley Humane Society Pet Food Pantry; Boys & Girls Club of Chaffee County; Buena Vista Optimist Club Backpack Program; Chaffee County Early Childhood Council; Chaffee County Search & Rescue North; Chaffee County United Soccer Club; elevateHER; FEDC WellStart; Greater Arkansas River Nature Association; Rotary Lending Medical Aids; The Alliance: The Grainery Ministry; The Manna House and The New Caring and Sharing.

For more information on the SDCEA Community Grant Program, visit SDCEA’s website, myelectric.coop or follow the electric cooperative on Facebook or Twitter. Interested community members can also learn more at CCCF’s website at www.chaffeecommunity.org.

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