Auen Foundation Closes the Gap on Summer Challenge Grant to Coachella Valley Rescue Mission assists people during scorching months
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