It is undeniable that the areas hit the hardest economically by the COVID-19 pandemic are those heavily reliant on tourism. South Lake Tahoe is unquestionably one of these areas, suffering not only because of the closure of its tourist economy but suffering higher infection rates due to the very tourism it relies upon. It is for these reasons that so much of the focus of the El Dorado Community Foundation, who serves all of El Dorado County, has been directed toward South Lake Tahoe. We recognized very early on that South Lake Tahoe would be the hardest hit region in the county. That recognition is not to downplay the impact on the Western Slope, but to highlight that we are aware of the unique position Tahoe is in, and that we acknowledge that our efforts must be significant if we are to serve the community of South Lake Tahoe through these unprecedented times.

Since the first of March, the El Dorado Community Foundation, partnered with Tahoe Magic, has disbursed over $645,000 back into the community of South Lake Tahoe. These grants have gone to support nonprofits, small businesses, and families. With this funding, nonprofits have been able to continue critical programs, small businesses have been able to pay off debts, and families have been able to stay caught up on rent and utilities. Special thanks to the Katz Amsterdam Foundation, Sierra Health Foundation, the Tahoe Women’s Community Fund, the City of South Lake Tahoe, the Angel of Tahoe, and the countless donors from the community, many of whom have directly supported Tahoe Magic.

We know the importance of peace of mind in the face of uncertainty and we know that this is not the end. That is why we will continue to support the communities within the shining blue jewel of our county. Never in our history has standing together been more important, even if we must stand six feet apart. Together we will move forward, and together we will survive.

Originally appeared on South Tahoe Now