RAP Quarterly Newsletter Vol. 26 - April 2020
Welcome Two New RAP Board Members
The RAP Board of Directors is pleased to announce our two newest board members as of January.
Maria Blue lives in Indio and recently retired after 25 years as a systems management manager. She most recently worked as the McKesson Corporation Site Director responsible for all aspects of upgrades and application support for Children's Hospital Los Angeles.
Maria enjoys "giving back to the community" and has a 20 year history of volunteer work, including the following nonprofits: Desert Arc, American Red Cross and the Galilee Center. Maria continues to be an active member of the Indio Women's Club and the Indio Sunrise Rotary Club along with serving as the President of the Spanish Club at Shadow Hills and the Health and Fitness Advisory Committee.
Considering Maria's professional
experience and volunteer
is not surprising that she looks forward to "sharing my experience and management leadership skills to help the growth of projects and support multiple organizations in our community."
lives in Indio along with her husband Dan. Anna retired from the County of Riverside after serving as the Director of the Office on Aging for almost two years, Assistant Director of with the Department of Public Social Services for four years and Executive Director of In Home Supportive Services for three years.
Anna's other volunteer duties include serving on the Office on Aging's Foundation and is a Founding member of the Canyon Children's Legal Services.
"After 31 years in social services with the County of Riverside, I want to support organizations that help improve the quality of life, especially those serving vulnerable populations" she says. "I believe I can utilize my experience and knowledge to advance the goals and objectives of RAP."
Collaboration with Desert Healthcare District to Respond to COVID-19
Eva Guenther-James, Grants Manager
In addition to regular grants that we recently allocated (and mentioned above), the RAP Foundation partnered with the Desert Healthcare District by matching their $100,000 to create the "COVID-19 Collective Fund." This $200,000 Fund will be made available to nonprofits serving high risk populations such as seniors and the homeless during this epidemic.
The notification of the funds was sent out through several media including RAP/CNA's email distribution list in early April. In an effort to "get the money" in the hands of nonprofits as quickly as possible the funding process was stream-lined and the following organizations were awarded funds of up to $10,000 each:
The LGBT Center
Jewish Family Services of the Desert
Joslyn Senior Center
Hope Through Housing
Mizell Senior Center
Cathedral Senior Center
Well in the Desert
Funds are still available. Nonprofits which have not received COVID-19 Collective Funds may access the application on the Desert Healthcare District (DHCD) website.
Applications are due by April 27 at 5 PM. Thank you to the DHCD for working in partnership to expedite this process and responding to the urgent needs our community.
By Stephanie Minor, CNA Director
During this rapidly evolving pandemic, our thoughts are with you! The nonprofit sector faces new challenges and extreme pressures. We know you are overwhelmed, worried about what might happen next, and wondering how to navigate this new and everchanging reality. We have created content on our blog that will be helpful to you, so be sure to check it frequently. We have also created a curated list of information that you can access at:
We are all joined together in this time, living through a pandemic the likes of which none of us have ever seen. Still, we will survive and eventually thrive once again. Stay strong, stay safe, and be well!
May is Mental Health Awareness Month
By Jim Grisham, RN, LMFT
Desert Region Adult and Older Adult Services Administrator Riverside University Health System-Behavioral Health
Finding the hope in our new normal.
A few weeks ago the lives of our consumers, our staff, our community, and my own family changed tremendously. Many of us have children or young adults learning and working from home. Others have formerly employed family members also at home, which has resulted in an increased struggling to cope with less resources. Emotional responses for our consumers vary, (like the rest of the desert community), sometimes by the minute. Issues that may have been stable previously have resurfaced or intensified. Others are experiencing stressors or challenges that are as new as the virus we are fighting. For some, they now know what it is like to be concerned about paying their rent or mortgage, or concerned about food security, or what they are going to do with their children. The list goes on and on.
I wanted to assure you that Riverside University Health System - Behavioral Health (RUHS- BH) clinics and programs remain open for our existing consumer population and anyone meeting our criteria for behavioral health care. For the safety of our consumers, our staff, and the community, most services are now being provided via the phone or through telehealth. Thus, if you are feeling overwhelmed and need to talk with someone, please call our CARES Line. They will be happy to assist you to find the appropriate level of care.
I am including some resources that RUHS -BH staff and consumer have found to be helpful. In the midst of all we are going through, we have discovered hope in supporting staff to creatively reinforce consumer coping skills that have been useful in the past as well as discovering new ways to manage anxiety, depression, and other challenges. We have witnessed the community becoming increasingly connected to their support system and a desire to search for purpose and meaning. My hope is that what will emerge out of this experience will be a synthesis of new ways to serve our community, an appreciation for what is essential for our own lives and the lives of our consumers, and an increased awareness of what it means to be in community.
I hope you are all safe and healthy during this unprecedented period of uncertainty. So many or our community members are affected, both in terms of health and the negative impact of Coronavirus on our economy. RAP recognizes the heightened importance of services provided by our nonprofit partners during these trying times, and we are here to support you as much as we possibly can.
Now, I would like to share with you some significant news:
The RAP Board has allocated grants to the following organizations:
- Cove Communities Senior Association, aka Joslyn Senior Center --
To expand the Wellness Center to include Mental Health services
- Hope Through Housing - To Increase Mental Health awareness and reduce negative stigma for residents
- Operation SafeHouse in partnership with El Sol-- To conduct Outreach services
- Community Partners' Coachella Valley Immigrant Dignity Rapid Response Hotline - To enhance Mental Health Services Support
- Best Friend's Closet -- For the Youth Attire Project
- The Butterfly Mission
- Coachella Valley Community Research Initiative
If you recently visited the RAP website with the intent of submitting a grant request, you will have noticed that this is not possible. This is because we are in the process of replacing our database system which manages our grant making process, including both Cash Grants and CNA Grants.
RAP is transitioning to Foundant, a software package that specializes in nonprofit management systems. Our staff is undergoing training that will take several weeks. In the meantime we are utilizing other means to submit your requests, please contact Eva Gunther-James (Grants) or Stephanie Minor (CNA) depending on your area of interest. We apologize for the inconvenience and we hope to have the new system fully operational no later than early July. We believe Foundant will better serve our clients.
Undoubtedly the COVID-19 epidemic has had and will have many negative impacts on our overall community, including the nonprofit sector. RAP, along with other nonprofits, anticipates that our financial resources will be impacted for some time.
The RAP Board has expressed an interest in reviewing our Funding Priorities for the next fiscal year starting July 1. Although our mission will remain addressing gaps in services in Health, Mental Health and Juvenile Intervention, the distribution of funding, the amount and the focus will be determined in the next two months.
We will share this information with you as soon as we can.
For now be safe and take care,
Lety De Lara, CEO
Volunteer Appreciation Month
April is Volunteer Appreciation month. This national recognition is a reminder to us to demonstrate our appreciation to our volunteers for their selfless contributions throughout the year. Many nonprofits count on volunteers to carry out their mission, relying on them to fill important roles in the service delivery of their programs. In addition, they are great ambassadors for the organization. RAP is no exception to this rule of relying on volunteers.
For us, this includes student interns and especially our retired volunteers, Ruth Christian and Ken McDow who have been with us for several years. Both of them religiously show up and carry out numerous duties for all of us. They can be counted on to always want to help and have been checking in regularly to find out when they can return to their duties during this "stay at home" period.
A "Shout Out" to our volunteers!
Economic Protection Plan
by Heather Vaikona, Executive Director of Lift To Rise
The RAP Foundation has partnered with Lift to Rise and over a dozen other organizations to form the Coachella Valley Economic Protection Plan and Support Fund, a public-private coordinated strategy to address the short- and long-term challenges of COVID-19 and the ensuing economic shutdown. The goal of Economic Protection Plan is to connect all eligible Coachella Valley families and residents to every currently available form of public assistance in order to keep our neighbors housed, fed, healthy, and secure. The goal of the Support Fund is to distribute $200 in emergency cash relief to as many Coachella Valley households economically impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 and the ensuing economic shutdown as possible. In late March, the RAP's Board of Directors voted to contribute $50,000 to the Support Fund, 100% of which is going directly to impacted families.
As of this week, the Economic Protection Plan and Support Fund has received applications from over 3,600 Coachella Valley residents.
Since then, more than 80 volunteers have helped over 1,700 households connect to critical forms of public assistance and other resources including, CalFresh, unemployment benefits, emergency housing, and free meals. In partnership, we've been able to:
- screen over 1,600 applications to the Plan and Support Fund, over 95% of which meet the eligibility threshold
- disburse 535 payments to financially impacted families
By the end of this week, we expect to have disbursed payment to over 1,000 households representing nearly 4,000 individuals. The power of our cross-sector partnership has demonstrated what can be collectively achieved when we work together to strengthen our community.
The Desert Legal Foundation (DLF) was originally formed for the purpose of helping people-middle management people, especially-who had been treated unfairly by their employers; it evolved into an organization which potentially helped anyone who was being taken advantage of by an employer.
Before DLF disbanded in 2017, the board granted their remaining funds to RAP's Center for Nonprofit Advancement Program (CNA) to develop nonprofits' capacity to serve their clients. While CNA currently provides full or partial financial assistance for consultants with expertise in a particular area (for example: Strategic Planning, Human Resources, Marketing Nonprofits, etc.) up until now its consultant pool did not include attorneys. However, a nonprofit can now apply to CNA for financial assistance if it is in need of addressing legal issues such as, but not limited to: Formulating Bylaws, Addressing Nepotism, Conflicts of Interest, Creating MOUs to Merge Nonprofits, and Board Development. Feel free to contact CNA Director Stephanie Minor by email SMinor@RAPFoundation.org for more information.
Supporting Nonprofits' Search for Grants
Besides having a lending library of many books in nonprofit topics, RAP provides free online research services at our facility.
The Foundation Directory Online delivers detailed grant information, description of grants awarded and types of grantmaker funding support and so much more.
From Top Left to Right
: Eva Guenther-James (Grants Manager) Mireya Reyes (Facilities Manager), Ken Mc Dow (Volunteer), Stephanie Minor (CNA Director), and Joyce Corporon (Accountant)
From Front Left to Right:
Karina Rios (RAP Services Manager), Christine Demonaco (CNA Community Services Manager), Leticia De Lara (CEO), Angie Nieto (Office Assistant), and Ruth Christian (Volunteer)
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