First, there was the High Park fire in Fort Collins. Then, there came then Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs. Now, there’s the Flagstaff Fire in Boulder. And yes, they’re all still active. For many of you, these are places you call home. And if you’re like me, it makes you sick to your stomach to watch them burn. But just because you’re not a firefighter doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to help stop these flames from ruining our beloved state of Colorado.
Tweets, thoughts and prayers are great, but they can only do so much. Now is the time to take action. I’ve compiled a list of five things you can do right now from your computer to help those who have been evacuated from their homes, and those who are fighting to make sure they don’t burn.
In El Paso County, home of the Waldo Canyon fire, the Sheriff's office has stated that the large animal shelter at Norris-Penrose Equestrian Center needs volunteers. If you’re in the area, you can help by calling 719-520-7773.
You can also volunteer your home to those who have been evacuated or even offer to house their pets. This is a small gesture, but for the almost 35,000 that currently can’t go home, it goes a long way.
2) Donate Goods
Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, who has set up a second emergency small animal evacuation shelter at the Freedom Financial Services Expo Center at 3650 N. Nevada Avenue, Colorado Springs, has stated that they need crates, kennels, blankets and towels for new evacuees. Call HSPPR at 719-473-1741.
3) Donate Funds
In my personal opinion, the best way to donate funds is through the Colorado American Red Cross. You can do this right on their website and it’s tax deductible. By selecting “Donate to where the need is greatest”, you can rest assured that your contribution will help fight all three wildfires threatening Colorado cities.
Another excellent option is to Text HIGHPARK to 80108 and donate $10 through The mGive Foundation. This doesn’t just go to the efforts against the High Park fire, but to all Northern Colorado fires that are currently ablaze.
4) Buy a Shirt
The recently set up WildfireTees.com was created by a group of designers from Colorado who, like you, love their home and don’t want to see it burn. They’ve come together to design some amazing shirts that, when purchased, will send 100% of the proceeds to help fight the fires currently engulfing our fair state. Donate $20 and get a t-shirt? Why wouldn’t you do that?!
5) Buy a Card
Local Boulder startup CardGnome.com has set up a one-of-a-kind fundraiser using their online card sales platform. Along with their insanely talented designer Steve Lowait of CampSteve, they’re selling “Thank You Firefighters, Love Boulder” & other disaster relief cards that, when purchased, will send your card along with your thank you message to firefighters across Colorado. Oh, did I mention that 100% of the proceeds ($4.99 a card) will be donated to those fighting to protect us? A total win-win.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone working to help stop the Colorado wildfires. With all of us helping one another and with your generous donations, we can make sure that our home stays safe this summer.