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The fifth “Chaffee’s Got Heart” spotlight is the Salida Community Center.  The Committee sat down with Elaine Allemang, Director of the Salida Community Center to learn more about how the pandemic changed operations at this organization driven to nourish the people of Chaffee County through food programs and activities as well as promoting a safe and sanitary community environment for all.

Allemang explained how COVID-19 caused innovation and change in the way the Community Center does business. She said, “The Salida Community Center has always had the needs of the citizens at heart. We started the food program several years ago when we realized there are people in this county that are in need of food. We always helped around 200 to 300 people, but when the pandemic hit, we immediately saw an increase and as of now we serve over 800 people.”

Image courtesy of Chaffee’s Got Heart.

When asked why she decided to go above and beyond to contribute to the community Allemang said, “We knew how many people were affected by COVID-19 and we wanted to step up and help as  many as we could. We joined forces with several nonprofits to help the people of Chaffee County not only with food but necessities such as shampoo, soaps, toilet paper, dog food and  other needs that they might have.”

She continued, “Our Community Center always relied on rental of the facility in order to bring in funds to keep our doors open; however since our water pipe broke, we have now had to rely on the help of donations from the citizens of the area.”

Allemang went on to answer where she sees examples of the idea that “Chaffee’s Got Heart”. “The residents of Chaffee County have proven they “Got Heart”. There are so many caring and selfless people here in the area. We have so many volunteers that step up to help. They donate  time and money in order to help our neighbors in this area,” she explained.

Allemang then explained her biggest takeaway from 2020 “The most valuable thing that I have learned from this pandemic is the huge number of selfless  and caring people that reside in this area. When caring people come together, we can  accomplish anything.”

Click here to learn how you can get involved or donate to the community center.

Or, follow the Community Center on Facebook to stay up to date on events and volunteer opportunities.