The Auen Foundation

News


The Auen Foun­da­tion part­ners with many orga­ni­za­tions year-round. Find out about our recent­ly fund­ed projects.  For oth­er news items, please vis­it our News Archive page.


Auen Foundation grants will help students in financial “gap”

Sep 28, 2017

While col­lege is an excit­ing time for many stu­dents, oth­ers have the stress­ful real­i­ty of financ­ing their edu­ca­tion to sup­port their dreams. Two grants from the Auen Foun­da­tion aim to alle­vi­ate that bur­den for some local col­lege stu­dents caught in what is termed a “gap.” This is where many stu­dents fall when they don’t qual­i­fy for state and fed­er­al need-based aid, but have dif­fi­cul­ty pay­ing for col­lege expens­es, par­tic­u­lar­ly when unfore­seen cir­cum­stances arise.

Many stu­dents are above the income thresh­old, but are still strug­gling to pay for school and the cost of liv­ing,” said Peter Stur­geon, with the Col­lege of the Desert (COD) Foun­da­tion, which received a $50,000 grant to assist stu­dents in its rig­or­ous nurs­ing pro­gram. “This is espe­cial­ly dif­fi­cult for those peo­ple sup­port­ing more than just them­selves. Many of our nurs­ing stu­dents are sin­gle par­ents and vet­er­ans, look­ing to improve their lives and the finan­cial secu­ri­ty of their fam­i­lies.”

These funds will help stu­dents who are prob­a­bly already mak­ing sac­ri­fices and fac­ing chal­lenges to attend uni­ver­si­ty,” said Dr. Sharon Brown-Wel­ty, Dean of Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, San Bernardi­no (CSUSB) Palm Desert Cam­pus, which received a $50,000 grant ear­marked for emer­gency assis­tance for qual­i­fy­ing stu­dents.

As stu­dents apply for these emer­gency grants, CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus admin­is­tra­tors plan to col­lect addi­tion­al data to deter­mine con­sis­tent obsta­cles that impede on col­lege stu­dents’ suc­cess­es. It is already known that the col­lege attain­ment rate in the Coachel­la Val­ley is less than 30 per­cent for all adults, and only 12 per­cent for His­pan­ic adults, which make up 40 per­cent of the com­mu­ni­ty. Under­stand­ing how to attract and sup­port addi­tion­al stu­dents is a com­po­nent of how the Auen Foun­da­tion gift will fur­ther assist CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus.

The Auen Foun­da­tion believes in the impor­tance of high­er edu­ca­tion in our com­mu­ni­ty, and we con­tin­u­al­ly look for ways to part­ner with our local col­leges and uni­ver­si­ties,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer of the Auen Foun­da­tion. “A col­lege edu­ca­tion is becom­ing increas­ing­ly crit­i­cal for job secu­ri­ty, and we want to sup­port those stu­dents in our area who are mak­ing a com­mit­ment to achieve that goal.”

Each insti­tu­tion has its own appli­ca­tion process to qual­i­fy stu­dents for grants between $1,500-$2,500 per cal­en­dar year to sup­port imme­di­ate and short-term chal­lenges that hin­der indi­vid­ual suc­cess. Fund­ing is allo­cat­ed on a case-by-case basis, but pos­si­ble uses may include text­book and oth­er course sup­plies, short-term trans­porta­tion needs, sup­port for house­hold basics in extra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances, or tem­po­rary child­care resources.

An incred­i­ble 60 per­cent of our stu­dents qual­i­fy for max­i­mum fed­er­al and state finan­cial aid, and 36 per­cent of our stu­dents live at or below the pover­ty line. For stu­dents scrap­ing to assure they are in col­lege, the expens­es of books and even food and trans­porta­tion can be addi­tion­al bar­ri­ers we are work­ing to over­come by estab­lish­ing this pro­gram through the gen­er­ous sup­port of the Auen Foun­da­tion,” said Dr. Brown-Wel­ty.

Sup­port of high­er edu­ca­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly in fields relat­ed to med­i­cine and ser­vices aimed at meet­ing the needs of mature adults and their fam­i­lies, aligns with the Auen Foundation’s mis­sion to enhance the qual­i­ty of life for the aging pop­u­la­tion.

For more infor­ma­tion about these emer­gency schol­ar­ships con­tact the inde­pen­dent insti­tu­tions. CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus is locat­ed at 37500 Cook Street, Palm Desert; vis­it www.pdc.csusb.edu or call (760) 341‑2883. For Col­lege of the Desert, locat­ed at 43–500 Mon­terey Ave, Palm Desert, vis­it: www.collegeofthedesert.edu or call (760) 346‑8041. D

Auen Foundation sponsors two guide dog puppies in training

Jun 28, 2017

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Auen Foun­da­tion recent­ly met two pup­pies they are spon­sor­ing for guide dog train­ing at Guide Dogs of the Desert. Sher­rie Auen, Pro­gram Direc­tor, and Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer, named the stan­dard poo­dles Katie and Sandy after fam­i­ly mem­bers.

It was great to meet these pup­pies, which will be trained to make an impor­tant impact in two people’s lives,” said Reed. “These lov­able pup­pies have no idea how impor­tant that are.”

The pup­pies will first be raised by a fos­ter fam­i­ly until they are 18–20 months old, and then they will live and train at the facil­i­ty in White­wa­ter where they will par­tic­i­pate in a rig­or­ous 4–6 month train­ing. If the dogs com­plete the pro­gram and reach grad­u­a­tion, each will be placed with a per­son who is visu­al­ly impaired. Togeth­er this new team will train fur­ther at the organization’s live-in facil­i­ty for 28 days in order for the dog to help pro­vide its new own­er safe mobil­i­ty, com­pan­ion­ship and inde­pen­dence.

Since 1972, Guide Dogs of the Desert has grad­u­at­ed more than 1,375 teams from its pro­gram, all accred­it­ed by the Inter­na­tion­al Guide Dog Fed­er­a­tion. The orga­ni­za­tion breeds and has rela­tion­ships with breed­ers of Labrador Retriev­ers, Gold­en Retriev­ers, Stan­dard Poo­dles, and some Ger­man Shep­herds.

By care­ful­ly main­tain­ing a spe­cif­ic pedi­gree, we increase our suc­cess of grad­u­at­ing high­ly qual­i­fied dogs that can tru­ly enhance a person’s life,” said Sarah Clapp, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Guide Dogs of the Desert.

It was won­der­ful to see how these pup­pies are cared for and trained in a very spe­cif­ic way that has a high suc­cess rate,” said Auen. “We are look­ing for­ward to com­ing back to watch our Katie and Sandy grad­u­ate with their own­ers and see them off to a life of ser­vice that only these spe­cial­ly-trained dogs can pro­vide. It’s all very heart­warm­ing, and we are hap­py to be a part of this process.”

Guide Dogs of the Desert is locat­ed at 60735 Dil­lon Road, White­wa­ter. For more infor­ma­tion vis­it guidedogsofthedesert.org or call (760) 329‑6257.

Coachella Valley Horse Rescue receives relief for summer camp

Jun 9, 2017

Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue was thrilled when two air con­di­tion­ing units were donat­ed to the non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion by Tar­kett, based in Solon, Ohio. The AC units were installed in the ranch’s club­house, where the non­prof­it teach­es kids 7–18 years-old equine edu­ca­tion dur­ing sum­mer camp. How­ev­er, after the AC units were installed, orga­ni­za­tion rep­re­sen­ta­tives – which spend all year res­cu­ing, reha­bil­i­tat­ing and find­ing lov­ing homes for neglect­ed and abused hors­es – were faced with the real­i­ty that they need­ed to upgrade the facil­i­ty in order to effi­cient­ly cool the club­house, even with the new AC units. The orga­ni­za­tion appealed to its sup­port­ers, who con­tact­ed the Auen Foun­da­tion.

We nev­er want to be a res­cue facil­i­ty that needs to be res­cued,” said David DiMeno, Pres­i­dent of Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue and Coachel­la Val­ley Mount­ed Rangers. “The Auen Foun­da­tion helped make this pos­si­ble. Now we can start sum­mer camp with a cool club­house and then use it all year long as we con­tin­ue to edu­cate the com­mu­ni­ty.”

The Auen Foun­da­tion pro­vid­ed a grant to insu­late a por­tion of the club­house, add an inte­ri­or wall, install a slid­ing glass door, drop a por­tion of the ceil­ing and redo light­ing with­in the low­er ceil­ing. All of the upgrades – to increase the facility’s max­i­mum cool­ing poten­tial – were man­aged by Supe­ri­or Heat­ing and Air Con­di­tion­ing.

Often, projects are best accom­plished through a part­ner­ship,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue found that an air con­di­tion­er dona­tion was not enough. They dis­cov­ered they also need­ed addi­tion­al upgrades in order for the AC units to run most effi­cient­ly. We are hap­py we could help this orga­ni­za­tion that helps many ani­mals and peo­ple in a num­ber of ways.”

The pri­ma­ry mis­sion of Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue is to res­cue and care for abused and neglect­ed hors­es and find them safe homes. In addi­tion, the orga­ni­za­tion part­ners with oth­er non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions through­out the Coachel­la Val­ley to edu­cate chil­dren and adults about ani­mal cru­el­ty and equine edu­ca­tion.

Begin­ning June 12, Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue is offer­ing three 3-day sum­mer camp ses­sions. Campers learn to ride and care for hors­es dai­ly from 7 a.m.-5 p.m. at the organization’s 8-acre facil­i­ty in Indio. And, now, class­room time will be espe­cial­ly cool – thanks to the grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion.

For more infor­ma­tion about Coachel­la Val­ley Horse Res­cue or the sum­mer camp call 760–808-6279 or go to cvhorserescue.org, or email the sum­mer camp direc­tor at rescuedirector@cvhorserescue.org.

Foundation continues support of AAP food voucher program

May 1, 2017

AAP — Food Samar­i­tans (AAP) announced today that the Auen Foun­da­tion recent­ly award­ed a $25,000 grant to the orga­ni­za­tion to sup­port its food vouch­er pro­gram for low-income Coachel­la Val­ley res­i­dents who suf­fer from HIV/AIDS and oth­er chron­ic ill­ness­es. This is the 18th con­sec­u­tive year that the Auen Foun­da­tion has sup­port­ed this pro­gram.

“We are impressed by the AAP – Food Samar­i­tans recent expan­sion of its mis­sion,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “For more than 26 years, this orga­ni­za­tion has offered nutri­tion­al sup­port to Coachel­la Val­ley res­i­dents that need it the most. Orig­i­nal­ly, AAP was focused on serv­ing peo­ple liv­ing with HIV/AIDS, but they recent­ly expand­ed their mis­sion to include peo­ple liv­ing with oth­er chron­ic ill­ness­es. We applaud this expan­sion and out­reach to some of our community’s most vul­ner­a­ble res­i­dents.”

AAP – Food Samar­i­tans was found­ed in 1991 to help the most at-risk mem­bers of the Greater Palm Springs com­mu­ni­ty – peo­ple who are low-income and com­pro­mised by HIV/AIDS. It recent­ly expand­ed its ser­vices to include peo­ple suf­fer­ing from can­cer, MS, heart or liv­er dis­ease, and oth­er chron­ic ill­ness­es. Its ongo­ing mis­sion is to ensure that all AAP clients can con­tin­ue to live their lives with dig­ni­ty and self-respect.

“I’m pleased that AAP – Food Samar­i­tans has had such a ben­e­fi­cial and long-stand­ing rela­tion­ship with the Auen Foun­da­tion,” said Mark Anton, CEO and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of AAP. “Their ongo­ing sup­port of AAP has played a vital role in ensur­ing that we con­tin­ue to ful­fill our mis­sion of pro­vid­ing month­ly nutri­tion­al sup­port to low income Coachel­la Val­ley res­i­dents who live with chron­ic ill­ness. AAP does not receive fed­er­al or state finan­cial assis­tance, so gen­er­ous pri­vate dona­tions like this allow us to con­tin­ue to sup­port the peo­ple who need it most.”

Auen Foundation grant assists CSUSB Palm Desert Campus students

Apr 27, 2017

The Auen Foun­da­tion award­ed Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, San Bernardi­no Palm Desert Cam­pus with emer­gency and gap fund­ing for stu­dents who qual­i­fy. The $50,000 grant was pre­sent­ed to CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus to cre­ate a needs-based, finan­cial sup­port sys­tem for cur­rent stu­dents enrolled in the region’s only four-year pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty. “These funds will help stu­dents who are prob­a­bly already mak­ing sac­ri­fices and fac­ing chal­lenges to attend uni­ver­si­ty,” said Dr. Sharon Brown-Wel­ty, Dean of CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus. “An incred­i­ble 60 per­cent of our stu­dents qual­i­fy for max­i­mum fed­er­al and state finan­cial aid, and 36 per­cent of our stu­dents live at or below the pover­ty line. For those stu­dents scrap­ing to assure they are in col­lege, the expens­es of books and even food and trans­porta­tion can be addi­tion­al bar­ri­ers we are work­ing to over­come by estab­lish­ing this pro­gram through the gen­er­ous sup­port of the Auen Foun­da­tion.” Through an appli­ca­tion and inter­view process, stu­dents are pro­vid­ed with grants of up to $1,500 per cal­en­dar year to sup­port imme­di­ate and short-term chal­lenges that hin­der indi­vid­ual suc­cess. Fund­ing will be allo­cat­ed on a case-by-case basis, but pos­si­ble uses may include book and class mate­r­i­al expens­es, short-term trans­porta­tion needs, sup­port for house­hold basics in extra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances, or tem­po­rary child­care resources. As stu­dents apply for these emer­gency grants, CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus admin­is­tra­tors plan to col­lect addi­tion­al data to deter­mine con­sis­tent obsta­cles that impede on col­lege stu­dents’ suc­cess­es. It is already known that the col­lege attain­ment rate in the Coachel­la Val­ley is less than 30 per­cent for all adults, and only 12 per­cent for His­pan­ic adults, which make up 40 per­cent of the com­mu­ni­ty. Under­stand­ing how to attract and sup­port addi­tion­al stu­dents in sec­ondary edu­ca­tion is a com­po­nent of how the Auen Foun­da­tion gift will fur­ther assist CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus. “The Auen Foun­da­tion believes in the impor­tance of high­er edu­ca­tion in our com­mu­ni­ty, and we have been sup­port­ing Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Cam­pus and its stu­dents since we moved here,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer of the Auen Foun­da­tion. “Sec­ondary edu­ca­tion is becom­ing increas­ing­ly crit­i­cal for job secu­ri­ty, and we want to sup­port those stu­dents in our area who are mak­ing a com­mit­ment to achieve that goal.” CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus is locat­ed at 37500 Cook Street, Palm Desert. For more infor­ma­tion vis­it www.pdc.csusb.edu or call (760) 341‑2883.

Construction begins on the Kenneth P. Miles Hangar

Feb 20, 2017

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Auen Foun­da­tion joined many oth­er Palm Springs Air Muse­um donors as con­struc­tion on the organization’s fourth hang­er began. Three years in the mak­ing, the Ken­neth P. Miles Kore­an and Viet­nam War Hangar will house vin­tage air­craft and arti­facts from the Viet­nam, Kore­an and Cold War eras as well as a POW/MIA dis­play.

As a vin­tage T-28 amazed the crowd of about 100 with a fly over, Karen Miles, wid­ow of the late Major Gen­er­al Ken Miles, a loy­al sup­port­er of the muse­um, led the beam-sign­ing event. Oth­er donors and beam sign­ers in atten­dance includ­ed Lew and Dorothy Webb, Robert Webb, Fritz Frauchiger, Monte Marts, and Rhon­da Smith. Palm Springs Air Muse­um Board mem­bers attend­ing includ­ed Fred Bell, Robert Borns, Bill Bramer, Dan Gilbert­son, Jim Hous­ton, Bill Hugh­es, and Dr. Dave Thomp­son as well as muse­um staff, vol­un­teers, and var­i­ous com­mu­ni­ty sup­port­ers. Com­ments were made by Bell, Gilbert­son, Miles, Toni Aguil­lar for Con­gress­man Dr. Raul Ruiz’s office and Rita Massie for Super­vi­sor John Benoit’s office. All guests attend­ed a catered lunch by Carousel in the Pacif­ic Hang­er after the sign­ing cer­e­mo­ny.

Gen­er­al vis­i­tors to the muse­um were also offered an oppor­tu­ni­ty to sign the hang­er beam through­out the day. The fol­low­ing day, the beam was raised into posi­tion. The $2.25 mil­lion, 20,000 square foot hangar is 2–3 months away from com­ple­tion thanks to gen­er­ous sup­port of many addi­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty donors includ­ing the H.N. and Frances C. Berg­er Foun­da­tion, the Auen Foun­da­tion, Toy­ota Motor Sales of North Amer­i­ca, Mona and Ed Sher, Harold Matzn­er, Jolin­da Park­er, Phil Hixon and many oth­ers.

The Palm Springs Air Muse­um is locat­ed at 745 N. Gene Autry Trail, Palm Springs. The muse­um is open to the pub­lic dai­ly from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The non­prof­it organization’s next fundrais­ing event is the Palm Springs Air Museum’s 20th Anniver­sary Gala on Fri­day, Feb­ru­ary 17. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it palmspringsairmuseum.org or call 760–778-6262.

Grant supports expanded neurological services

Jan 27, 2017

The Neu­ro Vital­i­ty Cen­ter is expand­ing its facil­i­ties and its ser­vices, thanks, in part, to a grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion. The fam­i­ly foun­da­tion, which pri­mar­i­ly sup­ports char­i­ta­ble pro­grams and ser­vices aimed at meet­ing the social needs of mature adults and their fam­i­lies, pre­sent­ed the non­prof­it orga­ni­zaiton with a $30,000 grant to help open the Luhr & Clarise Jensen Exer­cise Ther­a­py Facil­i­ty. This addi­tion­al build­ing will increase the Neu­ro Vital­i­ty Center’s space by 3,000 square feet, and allow the Cen­ter to offer more com­pre­hen­sive ser­vices to peo­ple with stroke, trau­mat­ic brain injury (TBI) and oth­er neu­ro­log­i­cal diag­noses.

Sup­port from the Auen Foun­da­tion and oth­ers are pro­vid­ing us with an oppor­tu­ni­ty to expand and offer more neu­ro­log­i­cal ser­vices in a sin­gle set­ting,” said Bev­er­ly Greer, Neu­ro Vital­i­ty Cen­ter CEO. “Thanks to the gen­eros­i­ty of indi­vid­ual dona­tions and grant con­tri­bu­tions, we are able to con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing patients with exer­cise and ther­a­py pro­grams even after their insur­ance is exhaust­ed. Avoid­ing gaps in ser­vice reduces many patient’s recov­ery times and improves their qual­i­ty of life.”

For more than 35 years, the Neu­ro Vital­i­ty Cen­ter, for­mer­ly the Stroke Recov­ery Cen­ter, has offered recre­ation, speech and exer­cise ther­a­py to help stroke and TBI vic­tims regain inde­pen­dence and improve their qual­i­ty of life. In recent years, the Cen­ter has also offered ser­vices to patients with Mul­ti­ple Scle­ro­sis and Parkinson’s Dis­ease. Ther­a­peu­tic reha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­grams address the phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal, emo­tion­al and re-social­iza­tion needs of peo­ple with many forms of neu­ro­log­i­cal issues. Ser­vices at the cen­ter also extend to these patients’ fam­i­lies, who often seek coun­sel­ing, care­giv­ing skills and oth­er resources.

The Neu­ro Vital­i­ty Cen­ter helps sur­vivors of dibil­i­tat­ing injuries and dis­eases regain and main­tain skills. These valu­able ser­vices impact people’s lives by not only increas­ing their abil­i­ties but also build­ing con­fi­dence lev­els, which is a ben­e­fit that can­not be mea­sured,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer of the Auen Foun­da­tion.

The Neu­ro Vital­i­ty Cen­ter, is still locat­ed at 2800 East Ale­jo Road, Palm Springs. For more infor­ma­tion about the cen­ter, call 760–323-7676 or vis­it www.NeuroVitalityCenter.org.

Foundation gift will add large print books to library shelves

Nov 10, 2016

A $25,000 grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion will add more large print books to the Ran­cho Mirage Pub­lic Library’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion. The gift was recent­ly pre­sent­ed to the Ran­cho Mirage Pub­lic Library Foun­da­tion, a non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tion that sup­ports the award-win­ning, inde­pen­dent City-man­aged library and its pro­grams.

We are delight­ed that the Auen Foun­da­tion chose to sup­port the Ran­cho Mirage Pub­lic Library Foun­da­tion,” said Diane Sagan, the organization’s chair­per­son. “This gen­er­ous gift will help the Ran­cho Mirage Pub­lic Library main­tain excel­lence in col­lec­tions, ser­vices and pro­grams.”

Large print books keep our community’s seniors read­ing, even when they expe­ri­ence changes in their vision,” said Sher­rie Auen, Pro­gram Direc­tor for the Auen Foun­da­tion. “No one should be denied the oppor­tu­ni­ty to read. It’s a part of life­long learn­ing that so many peo­ple enjoy.”

Now cel­e­brat­ing the library’s 20th anniver­sary, the Ran­cho Mirage Pub­lic Library has been rec­og­nized as one of the busiest and most admired libraries of its size in Cal­i­for­nia. The library offers print pub­li­ca­tions for all ages, mul­ti­me­dia selec­tions, access to tech­nol­o­gy. Plus, enter­tain­ment and cul­tur­al enrich­ment pro­grams are part of the library’s reg­u­lar sched­ule.

The Ran­cho Mirage Pub­lic Library was built on com­mu­ni­ty part­ner­ships, and we are hap­py to be a part of what makes this a fine com­mu­ni­ty asset,” said Catharine Reed, senior pro­gram offi­cer for the Auen Foun­da­tion.

The library has start­ed pur­chas­ing and pro­cess­ing a col­lec­tion that will include at least 1,500 new large print books with the Auen Foun­da­tion fund­ing. In recent years, pub­lish­ers have been active­ly pro­duc­ing more large print books in paper­back. This lighter, easy-to-read for­mat, improves the read­ing expe­ri­ence for those need­ing this type of assis­tance to main­tain the plea­sure of read­ing.

This is a tremen­dous gift that will have long term impact on the avail­abil­i­ty of large print books for our patrons who keep read­ing because of their com­fort with this for­mat,” said David Bryant, library direc­tor. “Each book we add will have a book­plate, not­ing that the vol­ume is avail­able because of the gen­eros­i­ty of the Auen Foun­da­tion.”

All of the new large print books will be avail­able for check­out with a Ran­cho Mirage Pub­lic Library card. Cal­i­for­nia res­i­dents with a valid ID can receive a card through an easy reg­is­tra­tion process. Sea­son­al res­i­dents, show­ing proof of a Ran­cho Mirage address, will also be issued a free card. Out-of-state vis­i­tors are charged a mod­est card fee. The library is eager to serve the entire Coachel­la Val­ley and beyond.

The Ran­cho Mirage Pub­lic Library is locat­ed at 71–100 High­way 111, Ran­cho Mirage. For more infor­ma­tion, go to www.ranchomiragelibrary.org or call 760–341-7323.

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Auen Foundation closes the gap on CVRM summer challenge

Aug 22, 2016

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 www.cvrm.org.

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Grant Supports Dental Health for People Living with HIV/AIDS

Jul 26, 2016

Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.) received a $25,000 grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion to pro­vide den­tal care to low-income seniors liv­ing with HIV/AIDS. The Auen Foun­da­tion grant was award­ed to D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic. Found­ed in 2008, the clin­ic has had an ongo­ing wait­ing list, and serves patients liv­ing at or below 400 per­cent of the fed­er­al pover­ty lev­el.

Most patients come to us after years and years with­out den­tal care and require inten­sive treat­ment plans requir­ing many vis­its to achieve sta­ble oral health,” said David Brinkman, CEO of D.A.P. “Although we recent­ly added staff to bet­ter accom­mo­date our long wait­ing list, we were still in need of sup­plies. The grant from the Auen Foun­da­tion will sup­port this, and help us com­plete com­plex den­tal plans for our local res­i­dents in need in a time­ly man­ner.”

Last fall, D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic added a sec­ond full-time den­tist. With 1.2 FTE hygien­ists and sup­port staff, the clin­ic has already served 736 indi­vid­u­als this year putting the clin­ic on track to pro­vide den­tal care to a record num­ber of patients in 2016.

D.A.P. is pro­vid­ing a crit­i­cal ser­vice that is not eas­i­ly found,” said Catharine Reed, Pro­gram Direc­tor for the Auen Foun­da­tion, which is ded­i­cat­ed to enhanc­ing the over­all qual­i­ty of life of the aging pop­u­la­tion. “Many sur­vivors of HIV are now in their senior years, on a lim­it­ed income, and many do not have den­tal insur­ance. D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic will help these sur­vivors main­tain good oral health, which is nec­es­sary for their long-term health.”

About 60 per­cent of the clients seen at D.A.P.’s Den­tal Clin­ic are at least 50-years-old, and most of them are long-time sur­vivors who have bat­tled HIV/AIDS for more than 20 years. The extend­ed life expectan­cy for HIV/AIDS has brought about a chal­lenge for those aging with the con­di­tion. Old­er peo­ple and those diag­nosed in late stages need a much high­er degree of care.

D.A.P. serves our com­mu­ni­ty with pri­ma­ry and HIV-spe­cial­ty ser­vices, includ­ing med­ical care, case man­age­ment, and social ser­vices, includ­ing food, hous­ing, and coun­sel­ing. D.A.P. also pro­vides HIV pre­ven­tion edu­ca­tion and free and con­fi­den­tial HIV test­ing at dozens of com­mu­ni­ty test sites and events through its Get Test­ed Coachel­la Val­ley cam­paign. The non­prof­it also offers The DOCK, a sex­u­al health clin­ic, whose ser­vices include STD test­ing and treat­ment; PEP & PrEP edu­ca­tion and refer­ral to treat­ment; free and con­fi­den­tial HIV test­ing; and well woman exams. With new advances in treat­ment, improved access to care through health reform and new pre­ven­tion tech­nol­o­gy, D.A.P. is com­mit­ted to bring­ing the HIV epi­dem­ic to an end. For more infor­ma­tion about any of D.A.P.’s ser­vices, call 760–323-2118, vis­it www.desertaidsproject.org.

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