El Paso County community united to help region navigate through COVID-19 pandemic

·4 min read

It is a blessing to be a blessing. As you think about how you want to be a blessing, we invite you to keep in mind the more than 100 charitable funds in the Paso del Norte Community Foundation when considering year-end giving.

Thanks to the partnership and generosity of so many individuals, families, small businesses, organizations, foundations and corporate partners, the Paso del Community Foundation has continued to work to grow our community of philanthropy.

We have worked collaboratively with community partners such as the city and county of El Paso on community resilience. In 2021, the Paso del Norte Community Foundation facilitated over $10 million in rental assistance through the management of the EPRentHelp.org program. The program helped over 2,500 families stay in their homes. Seventy-seven percent of rental assistance recipients were at or below 30% the area median income, which is $18,270 in household income for a family of four. When the program concludes in 2022, the foundation will have managed over $30 million in rental assistance since summer 2020.

Recognizing that many of our local nonprofit organizations were hard-hit by the pandemic and had to rethink their service delivery models to work without the revenue of canceled fundraising events, the foundation hosted the inaugural nonprofit conference, “Reimagine.” This capacity-building event provided 400 participants access to high-level thought leaders and skill-building.

Mica Short is vice president of development for the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.
Mica Short is vice president of development for the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.

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We were deeply honored to work with our donors to facilitate generous and impactful philanthropic gifts to our community, such as the bus for people with disabilities that was provided to Proyecto Santo Niño. The clinic, in Juárez, serves differently-abled children. Working with our agency fund, Moms on Board, the dream for an all-abilities playground at Ascarate Park is closer to fruition. Our donors gave over $1.5 million in grants to Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, over $300,000 in grants to support the new El Paso Children’s Museum, and over $300,000 in grants to El Paso Children’s Hospital. The Paso del Norte Community Foundation was proud to work with partners such as Community en Acción, EPISD Education Foundation and FirstLight Community Foundation to award 117 scholarships to deserving students.

The Sixth Annual El Paso Giving Day raised just under $1.2 million in funding for over 210 participating nonprofit organizations. Walmart’s gift of $100,000 in matching funds and Helen of Troy’s targeted matching dollar pool of $100,000 motivated 5,614 donors to support our local nonprofits. This year’s El Paso Giving Day inspired 3,760 new donors, a beautiful reflection of our community’s expanding giving spirit.

The impactful work carried out through the Paso del Norte Community Foundation’s 100-plus funds continued throughout 2021, funding diverse programs and issue areas. New funds such as the Detained Migrant Solidarity Fund and SunCruces Angels Fund joined our community of philanthropy. Our Donor Advised Funds grew to include the Fox Family Foundation and Aguilar Family Foundation, to name a few.

There is no doubt that in 2021 we continued to face many challenges as we learned to navigate living through a pandemic. Our community has endured the stresses of the pandemic and has benefited from heartfelt generosity. All forms of charitable giving, big and small, in time and money, are blessings that add up to make a tremendous difference.

If you are compelled to make a difference before the end of the year, we welcome gifts to a designated fund. Special tax incentives make giving even more beneficial. The standard deduction still applies and donors 70½ or older can make a tax-free charitable gift through IRAs.

Like everyone else, we look forward to the start of the new year and working with you to sustain this giving spirit. For more information, visit pdnfoundation.org.

Mica Short is vice president of development for the Paso del Norte Community Foundation. She may be reached at mshort@pdnfoundation.org or 915-218-2641.

This article originally appeared on El Paso Times: El Paso County community united to navigate through COVID-19 pandemic

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