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Martis Camp Community Foundation responds to community needs

Spring 2020 will be remembered as a time unlike any other. Business closures, schools disrupted, plans canceled, social lives on hold. However, from the darkness emerged rainbows of hope as people pulled together to help those less fortunate.
The Martis Camp Community Foundation board was in the midst of planning a fun “Roaring ‘20s” theme gala as their primary fundraiser. Gathering together by phone and in person on March 13th, the fundraising committee decided that the prudent measure was to cancel the gathering that had already been publicized. Only days later, the Governor of California issued shelter-in-place orders, ski resorts and businesses closed, and life changed dramatically for community members served by MCCF grants and funding.
By March 16th – even before the shelter-in-place order – calls for assistance had been coming in to the MCCF, which had already established proven results with community nonprofits. Sierra Community House (a newly merged organization delivering a multitude of services) was already seeing the impact with job loss and the increased need for food assistance programs and mental health services. Truckee’s Emergency Warming Center stepped out of its traditional role to start planning a Day Respite Center that would offer warm meals, health screenings, showers, laundry, basic necessities and community service connections to the vulnerable “under-sheltered” population. The Boys & Girls Club of North Tahoe requested assistance in providing “Grab and Go” dinners, kids “Activity Packs” and setting up a “Virtual Club” with sing-a-longs, homework help, assemblies, story times, etc. And looking at the potential effects of COVID-19 exposures, the Tahoe Forest Hospital System Foundation requested financial help to acquire personal protective equipment that would ensure safety for its small but resilient workforce.
With these immediate needs in mind, on March 17th a plea for donations was emailed from MCCF to the Martis Camp membership. The response was amazing! Within minutes, substantial donations began coming in through the website. The funding wheels went into motion and on March 27th, the hospital system received $50,000. By April 3rd grants were approved for the Warming Center ($10,000), the Boys & Girls Club ($25,000) and the Sierra Community House ($25,000).
The MCCF took a further proactive step by contacting the rest of its supported nonprofits to ask about their immediate needs, rather than sit back and wait to see them flounder. As a result MCCF granted $10,000 in funds to Gateway Mountain Center for its “On Belay” academic support that will match at-risk alternative education high school students with non-parental, caring adults who will motivate them to successfully finish the school year. The Tahoe Food Hub, while not asking for new funds, requested to restructure their existing grant to beef up its Harvest to Order program which went from supplying 35 food boxes a week to over 200.
The funding continues. On May 4th, the MCCF donated $50,000 to the new Resilience Fund – Sierra. This unique fund, the brainchild of a Martis Camp member, will lend directly to small businesses located in the Truckee Tahoe Airport District to help them with employee payroll, business continuity and other urgent needs during the pandemic. The fund will be administered by the Sierra Business Council. There’s another $50,000 approved to that group once the results are in for the first $50,000.
MCCF followed up the March emailed donation request with a “snail mail” donation letter. As a result of the two campaigns, close to $500,000 has been raised since mid-March to address the unexpected needs brought about by the pandemic. The gratitude of the recipients is undeniable.
“When Covid-19 arrived in full force, and local services for these neighbors were disappearing, YOU helped us expand our services to provide a place of life giving care and connection at our Emergency Day Respite Center. A few of our “guests” are working part time, living in cars and greatly appreciate the consistent opportunity to take a shower and access warm meals! I look forward to keeping you informed of the life saving and life giving services you help us provide!” – Cathie Foley, EWC Coordinator
“We are currently providing over 1,500 dinners a week to families in Incline Village, Kings Beach and Truckee. Additionally we are providing online “Virtual Club” content to keep children engaged and involved while school is out. Activity packs that complement these videos are also being distributed so that kids have exciting hands-on projects to do at home. Lastly, we are reaching out to all of our Club families to assess their current and future challenges so that we can anticipate any needs in the community and respond as necessary. Thank you for supporting these efforts and for all that you do year after year in our great community.” – Mindy Carbajal, Chief Executive Officer, Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe
“The Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation is humbled by the outpouring of community support in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your charitable contribution will help dramatically increase the Health System’s ability to address the critical need for added equipment, supplies, laboratory and diagnostic services, and clinical operations to help combat this pervasive virus.”
– Breck Overall, President, Tahoe Forest Health System Foundation
“Sheltering in place for some of our client youth and their families is almost intolerable. Forty to fifty of our highest need, lowest income youth, all dropping out of school, will have many negative downstream effects. Your support makes all the difference.”
– Peter Mayfield, Gateway Mountain Center
As to the future, the road to recovery still stretches into the horizon. The outlook for fall is uncertain, and that’s when MCCF historically goes through a competitive grant process for local charities. MCCF went ahead with its scholarship awards this spring, handing out more than $200,000 to deserving area students so they could continue their dream of attending college this fall. Without a summer fundraiser to top off the coffers, funding for next year’s scholarships and this year’s competitive grant cycle could be more bleak. (For the past two years, MCCF has raised 60% of its funds through the summer gala.) Some 130 Martis Camp families responded to the spring call for emergency grants … that leaves some 500 or so families yet to respond. We encourage any Members who have not yet donated to make their contribution today by visiting our donation page and using the online form at You may also contact and pledge any amount. We are a 501(c)(3), so your donation is tax deductible. You are making a difference! We will keep you posted on assistance granted to Truckee/North Tahoe organizations, as well as any other needs that arise.
Throughout the work we do, we are guided by MCCF Values:
• Community
• Family
• Outdoor lifestyle and recreation
• Connection to the greater Truckee/Tahoe community
• Helping others
• Access to quality education
2020 Scholarship Recipients
Nicole Heredia, $60,000 MCCF Scholarship. Attending UC Santa Cruz, where she will study human biology and work toward getting a degree as a Physician Assistant. Her biggest dream is working for Doctors Without Borders.
Octavio Diaz, $24,000 MCCF Scholarship. Attending University of Santa Clara studying structural engineering, business and mathematics.
Ilse Ruiz-Castro, $20,000 Ambition Scholarship. Attending CSU Long Beach and planning to major in journalism.
Anaka Hudson, $20,000 Ambition Scholarship. Majoring in psychology at California Baptist College. Anaka hopes to work with children and animals together as a therapist.
Jaquelyne Velazquez-Gutierrez, $20,000 Ambition Scholarship. The first in her family to attend college, planning to major in biology and study to become a veterinarian.
Chloe Schaecher, $20,000 Ambition Scholarship. Involved in environmental volunteerism since childhood, Chloe will continue on this path at UC Davis.
Jayda Walsh, $20,000 Denise Martinez Scholarship. Attending UC San Diego, working toward a teaching credential in chemistry.
Benito Gonzalez, $20,000 Denise Martinez Scholarship. Hoping to attend UC Davis, majoring in engineering.
Malenie Corral, Ambassador Scholarship. $3,500 toward her Special Education degree at Western Governor’s University
Camille Hardy, Ambassador Scholarship. $3,500 for nursing prerequisites at Truckee Meadows Community College
Emily Kralovetz, Ambassador Scholarship. $3,500 also for nursing prerequisites at Truckee Meadows Community College
We are so pleased to help these amazing students pursue their academic dreams. Some scholarship winners are the first in their family to attend college and Martis Camp Members are extremely happy to be able to help these motivated students. We had over 120 worthy applicants and we are thrilled to bring this good financial news to these scholarship recipients during these very uncertain times.”
– Ann Burchill, Chair, MCCF Scholarship Committee
As you can see, your donations to MCCF enhance local quality of life and support the region’s year-round sustainability. Like ripples in a pond, our community grants and scholarships positively affect not only the organizations and individuals receiving them but also the many people connected to the recipients through business, community and family relationships.
For more information or to donate to MCCF:
Martis Camp Community Foundation, c/o Martis Camp Club, 7951 Fleur du Lac, Truckee, CA 96161