Snowmass Rotary gives $10,000 to Aspen Family Connections to bolster COVID-19 relief for village residents | AspenTimes.com
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Snowmass Rotary gives $10,000 to Aspen Family Connections to bolster COVID-19 relief for village residents

For more information about Aspen Family Connections and how the family resource center is supporting Pitkin County residents during the COVID-19 crisis, go to aspenfamilyconnections.org. To reach Aspen Family Connections directly, email afc@aspenk12.net, or call 970-205-7025.

If you are interested in donating non-perishable food to Aspen Family Connections for distribution to those in need, drop off your items in the collection bin outside of Clark’s Market in the Snowmass Center.

The Rotary Club of Snowmass Village is contributing $10,000 to Aspen Family Connections’ COVID-19 relief efforts that support Snowmass locals specifically, club officials announced.

“Snowmass Rotary wants to help in all the ways it can,” said Thomas Fridstein, president of the Rotary Club of Snowmass Village. “Aspen Family Connections is a great organization and we’re glad we’re be able to help them.”

According to Fridstein, Snowmass Rotary felt Aspen Family Connections was the best organization to support during the COVID-19 crisis as it already has relief efforts in place for village locals.

Aspen Family Connections is a family resource center based within the Aspen School District that supports and provides case management services to Pitkin County families year-round, including those in Snowmass Village.

During the COVID-19 crisis, Aspen Family Connections is hosting weekly free food distributions in Aspen (noon on Wednesdays) and Basalt (noon on Thursdays). The resource center staff and volunteers also are organizing food deliveries for families and individuals in Pitkin County who may not be able to leave their homes, connecting families with emergency relief and financial resources and supplying additional financial assistance for “second tier” bills like utilities, internet or car payments. Aspen Family Connections also can give Spanish-language support and advice.

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Snowmass Village residents have access to all of these services and have been supported directly during the COVID-19 crisis. But now with the help of Snowmass Rotary’s $10,000 contribution, Director Katherine Sand said Aspen Family Connections is able to start a food distribution day in Snowmass Village that is set to take place every two weeks on Fridays starting May 1.

Sand said they are sorting through the specifics of when and where the Snowmass food distribution will take place, and will release details soon. People interested in donating non-perishable foods to Aspen Family Connections can now drop off items at the collection bin outside of Clark’s Market in the Snowmass Center.

The family resource center also will use the Snowmass Rotary funds to further support village families with their “second tier” bills, working closely with partner organizations such as Rotary, the town Housing Department, Snowmass Chapel, Little Red School House and others to ensure the money gets to people in need.

“Through our partner organizations we hope to reach out to families, make them aware of the possibilities and encourage them to be in contact with us,” Sand said, referring to Aspen Family Connection’s ability to pay for smaller bills and even cater to dietary restrictions and needs with the free food provided.

Sand continued by emphasizing the fact that anyone who has worries and needs keeping them up at night, no matter how small, shouldn’t hesitate to reach out for help even if they feel someone else may have a greater need than them.

“I feel as though people are reticent to ask for help,” she said. “It’s a very complicated world we’re living in right now and a lot of people are saying, ‘I’m OK for now, someone else may need more help than me.’ I think it’s so important for people to understand that by accepting help you’re not denying anyone else the help they may need.”

For Snowmass Rotary, the $10,000 contribution is one of the short-term ways the club hopes to give back to the village community. Fridstein said looking into the future, the organization is preparing for potential fundraising setbacks, namely the outright cancellation of or less sponsorship and lower attendance at its annual Snowmass Wine Festival fundraiser, and is working to ensure the local Rotary Club can still support the other nonprofits and organizations it gives to annually.

“We may not make as much at the wine festival this year and we know the organizations we support are going to have a greater need,” Fridstein said. “So we’re looking into the future to that and reserving our financial resources so we can continue to offer support.”

mvincent@aspentimes.com


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