United Way of Larimer County (UWLC) is honored to be among a collaborative of funders supporting COVID-19 vaccine awareness, registration and administration led and executed by a collective of organizations with trust and leadership in communities of color, specifically the Black and Latinx community.
The following Larimer County organizations, in consultation with 9+ others, collaborated to provide a comprehensive plan and request for funding to address the complex and emergent realities in vaccine distribution related to the lack of trust, access, and coordination that are barriers to reaching this important, and often overlooked, community:
- The BIPOC Alliance of Larimer County
- The Family Center/La Familia
- Fuerza Latina
- Alianza Norco
- La Cocina
- Heart and Sol
- ISAAC of Northern Colorado
- Queen’s Legacy Foundation
- Cultural Enrichment Center
- Foothills Unitarian Church
This coalition of agencies proposed the following:
- Community-Based Vaccination Education and Sign-Ups, relying on established networks of trust via these agencies.
- Coordinated Community-Based Mobile Sites
- Communication Coordination via a campaign that is culturally attuned to establish trust in the vaccine by trusted leaders of colors in the community.
- Addressing the economic impact of vaccinations, such as lost wages from missed work for vaccine appointments or vaccine side effects.
This connected group of organizations approached UWLC and other funders for financial support and were successful in securing contributions from a diverse array of sources who have never been jointly funded in this way.
It is an honor to be part of this innovative, and two-pronged collaborative of funders, and trusted BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) led organizations.
Specifically, UWLC committed $22,500+ of funding through our Community Emergency & Response Fund to the following innovative approaches to supporting and elevating our impacted community leaders:
- ISAAC (Interfaith Solidarity and Accompaniment Coalition) – $7,500 for their Emergency Immigration Fund (EIF) for 50 mini-grants of $150 ea. for post-vaccination missed work and other possible needs to incent vaccines.
- Fuerza Latina – $5,000 (through their fiscal sponsor Fort Collins Community Action Network or FCCAN) to support administration/coordination of their Spanish language hotline.
- They have had six Spanish-speaking community members working around the clock to answer phones, register folks for the vaccine, etc. – all unpaid. They have fielded hundreds of calls and filled every accessible clinic.
- BIPOC Alliance – $5,000 (through their fiscal sponsor Foothills Unitarian Church) to support administration/their time convening all this work and supporting the communications campaign which is at the heart of the outreach efforts.
- Heart and Sol – $5,000 to ensure pro-active outreach and education with established clients/members occurs in Loveland (a lot of funding is Fort Collins-centric in this effort).
- (Pending) Cultural Enrichment Center in Fort Collins for Black community organizing and participation in the collective.
United Way of Larimer County’s Board of Directors includes leadership staff from UCHealth who graciously stepped up to provide the vaccines at pop-up clinics led by partners listed above.
In addition, UWLC provided $7,500 in funding through the Equity/Innovation Fund to support two young LatinX leaders performing outreach across Loveland and Estes Park while also distributing emergency support funds from ISAAC. This funding is in addition to the vaccine equity proposal and adds both a mentorship opportunity for these individuals as well as an opportunity to extend trust and reach to our immigrant foreign-born workforce. UWLC worked closely with a private local foundation for complementary funding to support Fort Collins leaders for a countywide approach.
Further, UWLC has been a convener, and connected partners in Loveland at Sunrise Community Health Center to support the CSU Access Center’s Virtual Promotora (community health worker) model, in partnership with the larger vaccine equity initiative. CSU has two student Latina leaders who will be creating videos and engaging with Loveland communities – most notably Lago Vista – to raise awareness around the safety of the vaccine. And, UWLC has connected the Boys & Girls Clubs of Larimer County and others to serve as location sites for vaccine clinics and events in trusted, accessible locations.