This past week, we watched helplessly here in Colorado as a massive wildfire swept through our community, devastating over 500 homes, killing two people and scorching thousands of acres. Our local, county, state and federal governments immediately launched an attack on this vicious blaze.
Evacuations were ordered and an organized exit from heavily populated neighborhoods ensued. Roadblocks were manned by local sheriff’s deputies and firefighters from municipalities across our region rallied together.
Every day, our sheriff, local and federal fire officials, and county commissioners demonstrated amazing discipline and trustworthy leadership.
New Life has been able to help by assisting the Red Cross as a shelter in the initial hours. Our volunteers and staff have been all over the region offering assistance to evacuees and to those who tragically lost their homes. All of our efforts will continue in the months ahead as people in our community are rebuilding their lives.
Hundreds of people who are grieving for those who have lost their homes have asked us how they can help. While much of our work will begin once the burn area is open for remediation, there are several opportunities for immediate assistance. Here are a few:
Disaster Assistance Relief Center is the primary center for most services offered to those affected by the Black Forest Fire. If you have a specific skill or service you want to offer, email firstname.lastname@example.org and the Center will do their best to connect you with actual needs that your service may help meet. Services may include helping to navigate insurance, truck/tractor use, greeting evacuees at the center, helping field calls, among other things. Email email@example.com to volunteer or offer a service to the Center.
Black Forest Animal Sanctuary needs help organizing donations, cleaning up from the fire, doing repairs, and bringing their own animals back, as well as additional shelter set-up help. They are also in need of hay. If you d like to donate, call 719-494-3934. To volunteer, ask for Tracy.
Tri-Lakes Cares is a great organization that has been extremely helpful to fire fighters, evacuees, and those affected by the fire. Not only has the fire affected many of their regular volunteers, but their hours have also expanded to meet needs resulting from the disaster. They are in need of volunteers for shifts to help sort and process donations, to distribute food and clothing, and help get items to firefighters and families affected, as well as other areas. Call 481-4864 ext 117 to volunteer.
You may drop off food and bring gift cards and/or money to the front desk at New Life Church from 9am-5pm Monday-Friday and during services on Sunday. For the next two Sundays, bring donations to the Black Forest Fire Relief Table located in the lobby. A list of preferred food items can be found in the lobby at NLC. Checks should be made out to New Life Church with “Black Forest Fire” written in the memo line. You can also give online at www.newlifechurch.org. For those giving gift cards, suggested stores include Target, Wal-Mart, King Soopers, Lowes, Home Depot, as well as gas stations, restaurants, clothing stores, etc.
Please continue to pray for all of those affected.