Chaffee County Community Foundation

About eight months ago, the Chaffee County Community Foundation began thinking about establishing a permanent emergency response fund, something many communities have.

“Community foundations are often in touch with their local communities and are small and nimble enough to respond in a quick way,” foundation Executive Director Joseph Teipel said.

When the Decker Fire started, the need became more clear.

“We were getting folks reaching out to us and asking for ways to help,” Teipel said.

Foundation representatives met with officials from the county, public health and housing services and learned about things that could happen in a disaster situation. After those talks, the community foundation established a permanent emergency response fund last Friday.

“They felt it would be prudent to have a single fund that people could directly donate to, and they recommended the community foundation since we’re set up for that,” Teipel said. “It’s a permanent, flexible tool available for the county.”

So far, donations have reached $1,800.

Teipel said they’re planning to meet with county officials and others later this month when they better understand the extent of the Decker Fire’s effects. They’ll then decide how to disperse the money.

“The full amount may or not be expended, but anything still available will be for future use,” Teipel said.

People can donate to the permanent emergency response fund at

People can also mail checks to P.O. Box 492, Buena Vista, CO 81211, but need to add “Emergency Response Fund” in the memo line to ensure it goes into the fund.

The foundation’s mission is to act as a catalyst to inspire positive change through the power of philanthropy to enrich the lives of all people in Chaffee County.

For more information, go to or call 719-204-5071.

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