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

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