What is CERF?

Sometimes you will hear that the Bead Society of New Jersey is giving money to CERF. You may have wondered about it, so here is some basic information.

CERF stands for Craft Emergency Relief Fund. It is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization which is dedicated to providing immediate support to professional craftspeople facing career-threatening emergencies such as fire, theft, illness and natural disaster. CERF was created in 1985 and is the only organization of its kind in the United States.

CERF’s programs include: Interest free loans with flexible pay back dates; booth fee waivers at craft shows; discounts on materials and equipment from craft suppliers; assistance with marketing and promotion; special loan funds available for certain guilds, state-wide craft and media-based organizations; and special loan funds for craftspeople facing particular emergencies such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, homelessness, natural disasters and heart ailments.

CERF is a small fund. Loans are modest and range from $200 to $2,000. Additional funds are available to those who are members of various organizations such as The Glass Art Society, The Society of American Silversmiths, etc. Funds to support CERF come from craftspeople, craft show producers, craft organizations, store and gallery owners, suppliers, collectors, foundations and from the National Endowment for the Arts. All donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

You can make your donations to CERF by writing to: Craft Emergency Relief Fund, P.O. Box 838, Montepelier, VT 05601-0838. Voice mail 802-229-2306, fax 802-223-6484, or going to their website at http://craftemergency.org/.

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