Relief for the victims of the Fourmile Canyon fire — and aid for the firefighters — has poured in since smoke first started billowing from the hills, and it has taken many forms, from shelter for humans and pets to donations of food, water and supplies.
The most recent addition to the assistance effort is a distribution center that Boulder County opened on Wednesday at 5395 Pearl Pkwy. in Boulder. It is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Items available to evacuees include donated clothing, bedding, housewares, household items, personal hygiene items and diapers.
The county is still accepting donations of certain personal and household items at its collection center, located at 3111 28th St. in Boulder (between Glenwood Drive and Valmont Road, across from the Puddle Car Wash). The hours of the collection center are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Only the following donations are being requested:
• Water, sports drinks, laundry supplies and cleaning supplies, including household paper products • New underwear and socks, in all sizes, for all ages • Feminine hygiene items • New sheets, towels • Work gloves, boots and dust masks • Shovels and rakes • Gift cards for families from local restaurants, department or consumer product stores, DVD rental outlets, etc.
Gently used furniture may be donated at a separate warehouse location in Louisville at 707 East S. Boulder Rd. from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The warehouse is not accepting used mattresses.
Call 211 to inquire about donation needs or volunteer opportunities.
In other relief efforts, local funk band Funkiphino, Twenty Ninth Street and the American Red Cross are hosting a benefit concert tonight, Sept. 16, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the mall. Donations made at the event will benefit the Red Cross. Call 303-444-0722 for more information on the concert.
In addition, a samba-style parade/ march to honor the firefighters will begin at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 19, at 15th and Pearl streets, as part of Boulder Green Streets. There will be a drop-off site for donations benefiting victims of the wildfire and evacuations.
The University of Colorado Student Government has coordinated several relief efforts for displaced residents this week, including an online message board for temporary housing (http://ocss.colorado.edu), as well as a donation center and a coin drive in the fountain area of the University Memorial Center.
And a commemorative poster is being sold to raise funds for the relief effort at campsteve.com.
Boulder County is providing a host of other resources to those affected by the fire, including sanitary and emergency response services as well as mental health and grief counseling. In addition to providing counseling services at the county assistance center at the Sundquist Building at 3482 N. Broadway in Boulder, those services will be offered at the Salina Little Church of the Pines in Fourmile Canyon, Sunshine Fire Station and Gold Hill Community Center.
In addition, the Community Foundation Serving Boulder County has established a new emergency fund to support victims of the fire and the local firefighters. The Greenlee Family Foundation has offered a dollar-for-dollar match for every donation made to the fund, up to $10,000.
To donate, visit www.commfound.org/news/FourmileCanyonFire.html.
The Red Cross, Salvation Army, YMCA of Boulder Valley and local humane societies kicked their coordinated disaster response plans into gear and met a variety of the victims’ needs.
A sampling of those efforts made during the first week that followed the start of the fire is below:
• Sheltered 68 people for a total of 81 overnight stays at the YMCA of Boulder Valley (and at the Coors Events Center at the University of Colorado on Sept. 6)
• Served 1,695 meals to residents and responders
• Served 1,988 snacks to residents and responders
• Provided 163 comfort kits containing hygiene items and other needs
The Salvation Army
• Served 1,330 meals in the first 24 hours to first responders and incident command personnel
• Distributed 90 cases of bottled water
• Served 450 snacks, packages of cookies and pieces of fruit
• Provided $1,725 in vouchers for clothing at Salvation Army Thrift Stores to evacuees
Longmont Humane Society
• Sheltered 25 dogs, 21 cats and four birds for four to six days
• Will continue to shelter 25 pets until further notice
• Provided approximately 1,800 pounds of dry food, wet food, litter, treats, toys and miscellaneous items
Humane Society of Boulder Valley
• Sheltered approximately 50 pets
• Provided hundreds of bags and cans of food
• Received and distributed truckloads of miscellaneous pet supplies, including litter boxes, cat litter, climbing trees, kennels, crates, toys, blankets, towels and leashes
• Provided pet supplies, food, toys, etc. for pets being cared for at the Red Cross shelter at the YMCA.
YMCA of Boulder Valley
• Provided a clean, comfortable facility for Red Cross shelter that welcomed 40 to 60 daytime evacuees and 12 to 19 overnight residents
• Staffed front desk to provide information for evacuees and the public while maintaining regular operations
• Provided space for emergency response teams from the major insurance companies
• Set up mobile distribution truck in shelter parking lot to provide evacuees with clothing and supplies
• Took in six animals for extended care (two overnight)
• Provided short-term day care for 12 animals (three hours or less)
“Recovery may take months as these families rebuild from the ashes,” says Liz DiPaolo, director of response for the Mile High Chapter of the American Red Cross. “What we hope is that the generosity and compassion we’ve witnessed immediately following the disaster will continue and these residents won’t be forgotten when the images of fire disappear from the news.”
At this point, authorities say, the best way the public can help those affected by the fires is to make a monetary donation to the organizations that have been providing disaster relief.
FOR MORE INFORMATION Visit the appropriate agency’s website to make a donation online or find out more information about how to help:
www.ColoradoRedCross.org www.boulderhumane.org www.coloradofriendship.org www.longmonthumane.org www.DenverSalvationArmy.org www.ymcabv.org