Tuesday, February 3, 2004
The Hayden LIFT-UP Emergency Assistance Office served 37 Hayden households last year. The majority of the money used to help those families in need came from the Hayden Community Fund.
The Hayden Community Fund is a resource exclusively for Hayden families with emergency food, medical and dental needs or assistance paying utilities.
The Hayden Lions Club is helping to collect donations for the Hayden Community Fund, which distributed $4,594 last year to 22 Hayden families, LIFT-UP Executive Director David Freseman said.
An additional 15 households were helped with $2,955 from other LIFT-UP resources, such as the Salvation Army's Christmas kettle campaign and Energy Outreach Colorado, a statewide program which helps families struggling to pay heating bills.
Freseman said the funding was used to help people with a broad spectrum of emergency needs. While some came into the Emergency Assistance Office for basic necessities such as food or clothing, others were given with bus tickets to work in Steamboat Springs or travel money to reach out-of-town hospitals.
The Hayden LIFT-UP Emergency Assistance Office opened in May 2001.
"Though we've always served people through the food bank in Steamboat, we thought, to make emergency assistance more available to Hayden people, we should have more of a presence in Hayden," Freseman said. "When we set up office at the (Solandt) Medical Center, it has been very beneficial for people."
Freseman said the Hayden Community Fund is a vital part of helping needy people in Hayden. Recently, the Hayden Lions Club mailed pamphlets throughout the town requesting tax-deductible donations for the fund.
Hayden Lions Club President Don Johnson said responses from the pamphlets have been "fairly productive."
"It's still not the response we'd like to get," Johnson said. "We have been getting enough to be covering what's necessary, but I'm sure if we had more money, we could help more people."
At its next meeting, the Lions Club probably will discuss how to better advertise the Hayden Community Fund and make more efforts to collect donations, such as putting collection boxes at grocery stores and restaurants, Johnson said.
"More likely than not, most of the (Hayden Community Fund) money comes from the Lions because they are used to traditionally collecting the money," Freseman said. "We just put it together to make it available for people."
The Hayden LIFT-UP Emergency Assistance Office is open from 4 to 6 p.m. Mondays and 9 a.m. to noon Wednesdays in the Solandt Medical Center. Call 276-4214.
To donate to the Hayden Community Fund, make checks payable to the Hayden Lions Club and send to P.O. Box 906, Hayden, CO 81639.