On Wednesday, officials with both the El Paso Community Foundation (EPCF) and Paso del Norte Community Foundation (PDNCF) announced a partnership to create One Fund El Paso.
“One Fund El Paso and the National Compassion Fund are uniquely positioned to best serve the victims of this act of terrorism, and the community at large,” said Eric Pearson, President and CEO of the El Paso Community Foundation. “NCF has a long track record of fair and equitable processes in tragic situations, and the formation of One Fund El Paso establishes a working collaboration among trusted nonprofit entities who want to do the right thing.”
The new non-profit agency will be dedicated to developing and implementing a fund distribution plan for donations intended to support victims and survivors of those directly impacted in the August 3rd mass shooting at the El Paso Walmart.
Led by former Executive Director of the Center Against Sexual and Family Violence, Stephanie Karr, One Fund El Paso has contracted with the National Compassion Fund (NCF) and has established a task force to set policies and oversee the distribution of funds in the most fair and transparent manner.
NCF has been instrumental in the logistics of fund distribution associated with mass casualty incidents, including donations for victims and survivors of the September 11th terrorist attacks, as well as the shootings at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Santa Fe High School, and Las Vegas.
Utilizing best practices learned from these past events, the involvement of NCF will assure that the donations received by EPCF and PDNCF are appropriately and equitably distributed.
“Our hearts go out to the entire El Paso community,” said Jeffrey Dion, Executive Director of the National Compassion Fund. “We are honored to join forces with El Paso Community Foundation and Paso Del Norte Community Foundation to increase charitable giving and help meet the overwhelming needs of victims of mass shootings. We stand in solidarity with all of those impacted by gun violence.”
The administrative costs associated with the operation of One Fund El Paso and NCF are being covered entirely by EPCF and PDNCF so that victims and survivors receive 100% of donations.
One Fund El Paso will convene a town hall on September 26, 2019 at 6:00 PM at the Bonham Elementary School Mulitpurpose Center, 7024 Cielo Vista Drive, to discuss the process and obtain input from members of the community.
Victims, survivors and the general public are encouraged to attend this meeting as well as to visit National Compassion Fund (NCF) to sign up for updates regarding the application and distribution process.
To date, $5.6 million has been raised and donations continue to be accepted at the above website, the website of the El Paso Community Foundation, or the website of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation.
As of August 23rd, EPCF and PDNCF have distributed approximately $1,500 to each victim or survivor to assist with basic needs.
“We are grateful to have Stephanie Karr, the National Compassion Fund and the One Fund Task Force help oversee the important task of distributing the philanthropic resources in support of victims and families. It is important that we have the expertise and oversight to ensure an open and transparent process.” said Tracy Yellen, CEO of the Paso del Norte Community Foundation. “We are committed to ensuring that 100% of donations to the relief funds support victims and their families.”
The One Fund El Paso task force consists of the following community members:
Ruben Vogt, former El Paso County Judge (task force chair)
Nicole Ferrini, Chief Resiliency Officer, City of El Paso
Betsy Keller, El Paso County Chief Administrator
Patricia Bylicki, Victim Advocate, El Paso County Sheriff’s Office
Yvonne Whitaker, Supervisor, District Attorney’s Victim Services
Omar Villa, Assistant El Paso County Attorney/Chief Legal Officer, University Medical Center of El Paso
Beto Mesta, Managing Attorney, Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, Inc., El Paso office
Ricardo Hernandez Lecanda, Deputy Consul General, Mexican Consulate
Rene Hurtado, Chief of Staff, Emergence Health Network
Stancy Stribling, PLLC, estate planning/probate/elder law attorney
Idahli Huizar-Mendoza, Director of Therapy Services, Center Against Sexual and Family Violence
Deborah Zuloaga, CEO, United Way of El Paso County
Eric Pearson, CEO, El Paso Community Foundation
Tracy Yellen, CEO, Paso del Norte Community Foundation