This article originally appeared on 5280.com, January 2022.
More than 35,000 Colorado residents were ordered to evacuate their homes last Thursday due to two grassland fires in Boulder County. The larger of the two blazes, the Marshall Fire, ultimately destroyed nearly 1,000 structures, making it the most destructive fire in the state’s history.
Several public aid organizations and community groups have jumped into action to help displaced residents. Here, we gathered a list of resources for people looking to donate to those in need, as well as for survivors looking for support.
Organizations Accepting Donations
Boulder County Wildfire Fund is a direct donation portal created by the Boulder County Community Foundation to support displaced Boulder County residents as they find temporary housing and secure resources such as food and clothing.
Colorado Responds is an organization that assists people during emergencies and natural disasters. The group’s website includes dos and dont’s for navigating the Boulder County fires, a list of material donations needed at this time, and links for direct donations to the Boulder County Community Foundation, as well as volunteer agencies and opportunities around the state.
The American Red Cross has four chapters in Colorado, including Northern Colorado and the Mile High Area, both of which are currently taking donations and providing volunteer opportunities to aid residents affected by the Marshall and Middle Fork fires.
The Sister Carmen Community Center provides assistance for the residents of East Boulder County. They are currently accepting monetary donations and gift cards in $100 increments to Walmart, Target, Costco, and local restaurants. Updated information can be found on their Facebook page.
Jewish Colorado is assisting organizations serving those in need via online donations. All contributions go directly to relief efforts in Boulder County.
A Precious Child provides children in the Boulder area opportunities and resources. The organization has opened its resource center to those impacted by the fires. From Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at 7251 West 118th Avenue in Broomfield, people can drop off clothes, gift cards, and seek volunteer opportunities.
The Emergency Family Assistance Association accepts food and cash donations for families in Boulder experiencing poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity.
Resources for Survivors
The City of Louisville’s website hosts a plethora of information on the fires, including news updates, along with information on free meal assistance, access to water, and shelter locations. At this time, the YMCA of Northern Colorado at 2800 Dagny Way in Lafayette is housing people. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 and are in need of shelter, the COVID Recovery Center at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church on 3485 Stanford Court in Boulder is taking people. Additionally, Jefferson County Fairgrounds is currently open to keep large animals.
A Boulder County Disaster Assistance Center opened on January 3 to connect people who lost their homes to immediate financial and food assistance. The center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Boulder County Southeast Hub on 1755 South Public Road in Lafayette.
Boulder County School District has updated information on school closure for students in the Boulder Valley.
Boulder County residents and business owners are eligible to apply for state and federal disaster assistance through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Airbnb is currently contacting local hosts to house families in need of emergency shelter for free. You can apply online.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a disaster distress hotline (1-800-985-5990) for anyone struggling with their mental health. The hotline is also available in Spanish.
Events Providing Essential Resources and Donation Opportunities
The Boulder Jewish Community Center is hosting a Zoom meeting Wednesday, January 4, at 7 p.m. with Garth Gersten, an attorney who represents and advises policyholders in their disputes with insurers, to share helpful information to assist in filing insurance claims.
The Rayback Collective is a venue for food trucks and live music that will be hosting a Free Market for Fire Survivors this Thursday, January 5, from noon to 9 p.m. Kitchen items, clothing, books, games, toys, and pet products will be available for pick up, as well as free drink and food vouchers for families displaced by the fire, first responders, and registered volunteers.
Pineapple Events is hosting the Marshall Fire Charity Event on Saturday, January 8, at 1136 Broadway in Denver. The event includes food trucks, live music, a silent auction, and drinks. All proceeds will be donated to victims of the fires.
More than 60 businesses in Golden will be participating in Golden Gives Day on January 7. A portion of sales from the event will be donated to the Boulder County Wildfire Fund. People are welcome to come eat and shop.