Local agencies gear-up for donations
It’s hard not to wonder how to help those displaced or fighting the many Colorado wild fires including those in De Beque.
Agencies across the valley are gearing up to accept donations that will either be used locally or sent to other communities such as Colorado Springs.
At this time, however, there has been no word as to if the firefighters in De Beque are in need of supplies, said Captain Terrie Wilson, corps officer and pastor for The Salvation Army.
The emergency shelter set-up for De Beque residents at Palisade High School had received donations of bottled water and a spaghetti dinner, but had yet to receive any families in need from the evacuation.
The Salvation Army may start asking for bottled water or Gatorade if the situation in De Beque changes, as many of those supplies have already been sent to aid in the Waldo Canyon fire, Wilson said.
Right now, the best way to help is to donate monetarily or volunteer to help a local agency, said Mike Page of the Grand Junction Fire Department. Residents should not go to the scene of any disaster.
IntelliTec College, 772 Horizon Drive, has been serving a collection site for the Colorado Springs fire this week. The school purchased $700 in supplies as well as collected blankets, paper goods, and clothing for the more than 32,000 people displaced by that fire. Employees have driven two truck loads of donations to the Front Range this week, said George Huisman, enrollment specialist.
The Springs Rescue Mission, Rocky Mountain Health Care Services and Catholic Charities are requesting blankets, sheets, pillows, air mattresses, Gatorade, disposable aluminum pans, aluminum foil, new batteries, paper cups and plates, trash cans and liners, new underwear and socks. Food items are not needed at this time and used clothing will not be accepted, Huisman said.
“But, neighbors are neighbors,” Huisman said, adding that the school may soon divert their donations to local agencies should the need arise.
The local Emergency Operations team and the local Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) group have set up a donation center at the Adventist Community Services Center, 2554 Patterson Road. They are accepting donations of non-perishable goods only as no specific needs have been identified at this time. The center will be open from noon to 5 p.m.
Financial donations can be made directly to The Salvation Army, 1235 N. Fourth St., or the American Red Cross, 506 Gunnison Ave.
Statewide donations can be made online at http://www.HelpColoradoNow.org.