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BCCF Shows Difference-Making Videos
Monday, December 20, 2021



Natalie, a single mother of two teenagers, holds four jobs to get by in the Wood River Valley but still found herself snowed under with financial bills in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

Sandra, owner of the longest Hispanic-held business in the Wood River Valley had to fight to keep her Lago Azul restaurant open when COVID infected herself and her extended family.

And Blaine County Commissioner Angenie McCleary has been in the unique position of seeing all the ways in which the Blaine County Charitable Fund has assisted valley families and businesses since the COVID pandemic began.

These are the stories the Blaine County Charitable Fund is telling in three video testimonies.

Natalie’s story can be watched at

Sandra’s story can be seen at

Angenie’s testimony can be viewed at

The Blaine County Charitable Fund was started in response to the anticipated hardships caused by the shelter-in-place order early in the pandemic. In 2021 alone it awarded 112 unique households with more than $178,000 to help pay rent, utility bills, medical needs and car repairs.

That’s not much behind the $285,000 the BCCF awarded to 191 households in 2020, noted Director Mary Fauth. And half of the 2021 applicants had not received assistance during 2020.

Nearly three-quarters of the 2021 requests were attributed to COVID-related hardships, whether a loss of work due to illness or quarantine or a life crisis that was unable to be addressed because the applicant had experienced a COVID-financial hardship the previous year.

Requests for housing-related assistance made up 63 percent of the grants issued in 2021.

“The goal of the Fund was to not only bridge the obvious need that large segments of our community would undoubtedly face during the pandemic, but to be a source of help in future unanticipated crises,” explained Fauth. “When over half our community already don’t make ends meet on a regular basis, a single unanticipated event can cause financial hardship that can last for many years.”

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