The Fourmile Canyon Fire is keeping more than just firefighters working hard.
Volunteers from many different organizations are laboring throughout Boulder to support fire victims. From distributing donations to providing housing, many volunteers are finding ways to stay busy.
Ron Craig, a Colorado FriendShip volunteer, helped to distribute donations outside the Young Men’s Christian Association at 2850 Mapleton Ave.
The distribution site received so many donations that they said they had to turn some away.
“I hate to deny people who come in with clothes, but we got so much already, there’s no place to put them,” Craig said.
Craig said that not many come to take donations that the distribution site offers and he doesn’t know why.
“It’s free, it’s new, it’s clean,” Craig said. “One lady brought new underwear, socks, T-shirts and gift cards. She left the receipt in the bag and it was $170 worth of new stuff.”
Craig said they really want to give the items away.
“We’re ready to give the fire victims anything and everything and as much as they want,” Craig said.
The community collection center at 3111 28th St. offers donations and volunteers for long-term support, said Donations Manger Cathy Kissner.
Kissner said their goal is to offer more than just quick relief.
“The recovery efforts could take up to five years, we’re talking about building homes, the whole nine yards,” Kissner said.
Inside the center, volunteers sorted through thousands of donated items and members from many different church groups and organizations said they worked together to help out.
“We’ve had three truckloads and about 500 to 600 cars drop off stuff here,” said Public Information Officer Ed O’Brien. “We also have about 73 volunteers. This group will stay to help when all the firefighters leave.”
The Red Cross has also opened a shelter inside the YMCA.
Public Relations Spokesperson Linda Bisset said the organization is most popular around dinner time.
“During a crisis like this, most people stay in hotels or the houses of family friends,” Bisset said. “But for most, food is a huge expense and so most people come for dinner.”
Around 26 people spend the night at the shelter, Bisset said.
Bisset said that the shelter is for more than just an overnight shelter.
“We want to make sure people know, the shelter is here and that they don’t have to sleep here to take advantage of it,” Bisset said.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jon Tattum at Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org.