The Auen Foundation

Auen Foundation closes the gap on CVRM summer challenge

The Coachella Val­ley Res­cue Mis­sion met its first sum­mer fundrais­ing goal, thanks, in part, to a grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion. At the begin­ning of the sum­mer, the CVRM began an e-blast cam­paign titled “Open Your Heart 97 Day Chal­lenge.” The intent was to raise aware­ness of the scorch­ing sum­mer months that threaten most of the Valley’s home­less and many impov­er­ished families.

After the mis­sion dis­trib­uted the first email about this com­mu­nity chal­lenge, an anony­mous donor came for­ward with its own chal­lenge: if the CVRM raised $25,000, they would match it, which would quickly raise $50,000 for the shel­ter. Addi­tional donors met the chal­lenge up to $10,000, and then the e-mail mes­sage caught the atten­tion of Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. The pri­vate, fam­ily foun­da­tion agreed to con­tribute the remain­ing $15,000 that com­pleted the match­ing chal­lenge and helped the CVRM pre­pare for the hot sum­mer months ahead.

Each sum­mer, the mis­sion faces chal­lenges that come with extreme heat,” said Darla Bur­kett, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of the CVRM. “A con­ver­sa­tion with Catharine about the e-blast and the match­ing grant brought com­pas­sion and a strong offer of help. CVRM and the com­mu­nity we serve are sin­cerely grate­ful for the gen­eros­ity of the Auen Foun­da­tion and the other donors that con­tributed to this suc­cess­ful fundrais­ing campaign.”

Dur­ing the first two months of sum­mer, funds raised by the $50,000 chal­lenge pro­vided more than 46,000 meals, 15,250 bed nights of shel­ter, and kept 26 home­less chil­dren off the streets.

We love an oppor­tu­nity to part­ner with other donors and make a sig­nif­i­cant impact quickly,” said Reed.

As Sum­mer 2016 hit record tem­per­a­tures and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the CVRM went out in the com­mu­nity look­ing for men, women and chil­dren still on the streets, they con­tin­ued the “Open Your Heart 97 Day Chal­lenge” through August.

Unfor­tu­nately, there is always a need to serve our community’s home­less, said Bur­kett. “We may help one fam­ily off the streets just as another is faced with unfore­seen cir­cum­stances. In the sum­mer, com­mu­nity needs and costs are greatly increased, yet dona­tions gen­er­ally decrease, so we have to make an extra effort this time of year to ensure that our orga­ni­za­tion con­tin­ues to ful­fill its mis­sion of serv­ing those in need.”

Founded in 1971, and located at 47470 Van Buren St. in Indio, the CVRM feeds, shel­ters, and cares for more than 250 clients each night. A 24-hour hot and cold weather shel­ter, pro­vides refuge from extreme weather con­di­tions. To find out more about the Coachella Val­ley Res­cue Mis­sion, call 760–347-3512 or visit

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