River Fund, Inc. is a local non-profit agency providing direct emergency and crisis services for individuals and families in Bullhead City, Ft. Mohave, Golden Shores, Golden Valley and Mohave Valley, Arizona and Laughlin, Nevada. The River Fund also provides grant funding opportunities to other non-profit organizations in the region, thereby expanding the nature and scope of available services to those in need.
The programs administered through the River Fund are very diverse and provide services and assistance in a variety of ways. The programs are managed in individual fund accounts, some of which are explained below:
BHHS LEGACY FOUNDATION GRANTS
The Legacy Foundation has provided grants to River Fund to be used for a wide variety of assistance programs that include temporary housing, certain healthcare related financial help (prescriptions, office co-pays, etc.), clothing, food, sudden loss of life, relocation intervention for the welfare and safety of individuals and families and a myriad of unique situations that most people cannot imagine. Legacy Foundation stipulates that River Fund staff exercise “best judgment practices” in determining the need and eligibility of individuals and families receiving assistance through this program.
The River Fund "Cancer Connection" Fund began in March of 2015 when the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce decided to do a fund raiser to help River Fund finance certain services for eligible cancer patients and their families in time of need. What is now earmarked as the "Connie Davis 5K Walk for Cancer" is held annually at Pyramid Park in Laughlin, Nevada. This and other fund raisers as well as contributions that donors designate to the Cancer Connection Fund help ensure that the River Fund has the financial resources needed to assist cancer patients with unexpected expenses during their recovery.
Community Assistance Relief Efforts (C.A.R.E.) grants evolved from a board member's idea and was further developed by the Grants Committee. Funding assistance will be considered for direct service needs such as food, clothing, shelter, special requests, etc., which are consistent with the River Fund mission. These funds are disbursed to organizations requesting support in emergency situations and prior to the winter holidays with board approval.
To be eligible for funding, organizations must demonstrate: • A funding need or cause that is consistent with the River Fund’s charitable mission and vision;• A current tax-exempt, nonprofit status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; and• Activity within some or all of the River Fund’s community service areas, which includes Bullhead City, Fort Mohave, Mohave Valley, Topock, Golden Valley, AZ and Laughlin, NV.
CHEF’S FOOD FEST
Through a partnership with the Laughlin Chamber of Commerce, the River Fund has been the beneficiary of a percentage of proceeds from the annual Chef’s Food Fest held each fall, usually at one of the Laughlin casino properties. These funds are designated specifically for aiding local families and individuals with hardships or a variety of immediate crisis situations. Most recently, the contribution of over $23,000 from the 2018 Chef's Food Fest will be able to assist over 200 families with utility, work card obtainment, and housing assistance.
COLORADO RIVER WOMEN'S COUNCIL HOMELESS FUND
This fund was established in January 2017 through a grant from the Colorado River Women's Council and specifically supports River Fund's efforts to assist one of the most vulnerable segments of our local population: the homeless. Assistance from this fund is often transitional housing support and transportation costs for the clients.
DONOR DESIGNATION FUND
This fund was established to allow contributors, both employees and independent individuals, the opportunity to select a LOCAL non-profit organization that they would prefer to designate their contributions (either all or a portion). The minimum contribution is $100 per year as a one-time giver or through payroll deduction with a minimum of $10.00 per month. Every quarter, payments are distributed to the charitable organization by River Fund on behalf of the contributor. From River Fund's inception in July 2010 through September 30, 2018, a total of 34 local outside agencies have been supported by these donor designations totaling $68,717.37 and an additional $40,804.51 has been designated by donors to support specific River Fund programs such as Veteran's Assistance, Cancer Assistance, etc.
EMPLOYEE DONOR CRISIS FUND
This fund allows employees of both large and small businesses to contribute through weekly or bi-weekly payroll deductions coordinated through human resources and finance departments. This was originally started with Laughlin casino properties and has now expanded to include all types of businesses on both sides of the Colorado River. It is considered to be an “investment account” in that employees, through their contributions, can utilize the fund in case of unexpected hardship or crisis or, in some instances, donate their accumulated funds to fellow workers that are in need if urgent assistance. Donors can often obtain a greater level of financial emergency assistance by utilizing this fund than levels of assistance available with the other River Fund programs.
Eligibility is considered for full and part time employees. The employee must contribute a minimum of $3.00 per pay period or $1.50 per week. Assistance will be given to the employee or their immediate family member (Immediate family members are defined as parents, spouses and unmarried children who qualify as dependents on income tax records). Financial assistance will be determined on a case by case basis.
EMPLOYER SPONSORED CRISIS FUNDS
Many local employers often have events such as employee rummage sales, employee paycheck campaign contributions, or even direct contributions from the employer, all used specifically to support employees of that particular employer. Employees facing unique challenges and emergency situations may contact their human resources department who would authorize River Fund to expend money from this fund on behalf of their employee. Often, emergency situations dealt with under these funds are beyond the cost limitations River Fund would have been able to assist with from its other programs. In the past, emergency medical costs, funeral costs, and disaster assistance have all been provided to employees of the businesses who have established these types of fund. Currently, employers who have crisis funds for their employees include the Aquarius, the Avi, the Colorado Belle/Edgewater, the Tropicanca, and Buck Reynolds Corporation.
FROM THE HEART FUND
From the Heart, Inc. was created to assist tax-exempt or non-profit entities in providing worthwhile community causes and needs within the area of Mohave County, Arizona. Agencies such as River Fund, Inc., that provide services and aid to the elderly, youth, and families are eligible to apply for grant consideration. Not-for-profit groups whose programs address the need for food, shelter, medical needs and clothing as well as emergency energy support will be considered. Other programs that focus on early childhood education and programs for families or seniors are also within the scope of grant consideration. The grant approved by the Mohave's From the Heart Board of Directors for the River Fund allows for utility bill assistance for those in need that reside within the Mohave Electric Cooperative service area.
MEMORY CARE FUND
This fund was established in January 2018 as a result of a fund raiser held by Laughlin River Tours to support victims and families of Alzheimer's and other memory loss and dementia diseases. Similar, to the Cancer Connection, donors may specify that their contributions be used to support this fund, and clients may utilize this fund to assist with unexpected financial hardships as a result of these diseases.
MOHAVE MEMBERS ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (MMEAP)
The purpose of this fund is to financially assist Mohave Electric Cooperative members who are in crisis or face severe hardship. The program is an energy-assistance program for MEC members who live at or below the current Federal poverty level and at no fault of their own, are facing a crisis in their household. The funds are administered through the River Fund office using program guidelines to determine eligibility. If eligible, checks will be made payable to Mohave Electric Cooperative for payment of the members' account.
MOHAVE MEMBERS UTILITY REPAIR AND DEPOSIT ASSISTANCE FUND
This fund was established in November 2012 specifically to support the clients in the area who are in need of financial assistance to establish utility services at their residence, or to repair and/or replace appliances that are not functioning. With the excessive temperatures experienced in our area in the summer, the importance of functioning air conditioning in a place of residence can often be a matter of life or death. This fund has helped to ensure that hundreds of clients have received this vital assistance.
"ONE COOL THING" FUND
In the summer of 2010, Western Arizona Regional Medical Center and Valley View Medical Center teamed up to launch a program that provides emergency air conditioning services designated specifically for area residents that are medically at risk. The idea stemmed from a notable increase in patients being seen for heat-related illnesses. Applicants are usually referred by local medical and charitable organizations and are screened based upon medical necessity and income.
OPERATION SAFE HOUSING FUND
This fund was established in January 2014 through grants and donations from Harrah's Laughlin and the Caesars Heroes Foundation to help River Fund assist clients with temporary or transitional housing. In our area, especially in the summer months, being homeless can be life-threatening. This fund helps to ensure that those who are having difficulty financially in establishing permanent housing will have temporary housing while securing their own permanent housing situation. Most recently, the River Fund received a grant in the amount of $15,000.00 in January 2018 for this program.
The River Fund Board of Directors established the Programs Grants Fund specifically designed to assist non-profit agencies and organizations engaged in humanitarian programs that provide services and assistance to local individuals and families. The applicants must be LOCAL non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations. Following a strict application and review process by an appointed committee of board members, their recommendations are reviewed and recipients selected by the full board. Currently, the Program Grants are awarded on an annual basis in June. From River Fund's inception in July 2010 through September 30, 2018, a total of 135 grants (including C.A.R.E. grants) have been issued to local non-profit agencies totaling $701,373.09.
TEAUMEN & GRACE FUITE FOUNDATION FUND
Since 2011, River Fund has assisted thousands of individual clients with this fund through the generous support of the Teaumen & Grace Fuite Foundation through the years. Clients have received a wide variety of types of emergency assistance through this fund including utilities, medical, transportation, work card obtainment and rental assistance to name a few. Clients who do not qualify for assistance under specific funds such as Donor Crisis Fund, Cancer Connection Fund, Veteran's Assistance Fund, etc. may still receive emergency assistance at River Fund through the T&GFF Fund.
VETERAN'S ASSISTANCE FUND
This fund was established in February 2015 as a result of the desire of many donors who wanted their contributions to be earmarked for the benefit of those who have given so much to our country. Now, the fund has grown over the years with many fund raisers held specifically to support our local veterans through this fund. Fund raisers such as the Men of Fire Poker Run organized by the Bullhead City Fire Department as well as the American Legion Post #60 Poker Run provide the River Fund with the resources to support veterans who are in need through this fund. Often, veterans face unique challenges, including homelessness, and this fund can support their needs often with higher financial assistance than is available in River Fund's other programs.