Our family moved to Colorado in 2005, and as cheesy as it may sound, I fell in love with the natural beauty of this state. We’ve camped in Glenwood Springs, hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park, and zip-lined at YMCA of the Rockies. I ran my first half marathon in Estes Park, and I’ve been doing triathlons in Boulder since 2009. I never dreamed of doing such things when I lived in New York; Colorado has transformed me.
Now Colorado has been transformed by rain and flooding. The pictures and videos document the unbelievable destruction, and the statistics are just as frightening: 17,500 homes damaged, 1500 homes destroyed, and 11,700 people evacuated. It’s incredible to realize that entire towns are cut off due to road damage that may not be fixed for months. Our first snow in the Colorado mountains often comes as early as mid-September, which will further complicate repairs.
What can you do to help? Glad you asked.
HelpColoradoNow.org: A partnership between state Homeland Security/Emergency Management and local volunteer organizations, HelpColoradoNow.org coordinates disaster relief efforts between government agencies and non-profit organizations.
American Red Cross: The local chapters are providing much-needed shelters for those who have been evacuated. My own daughter spent a few hours at a Red Cross shelter during her evacuation from Estes Park.
Colorado Farm Bureau Disaster Fund: The flooding has extended well east of the mountains to affect ranchers and farmers. Fields are damaged, and livestock have been stranded. 100% of donations will go to affected producers.
United Way Foothills Flood Relief Fund: Donations to this fund will specifically go toward health and human services needs in mountain communities.
What else can you do besides donate money? Well, it would be really cool if you could fly a Blackhawk helicopter to rescue people, but most of us can’t do that. As in most disasters, it’s monetary donations that are needed most urgently.
Personally, I’m sending money myself, and then as soon as it’s safe, we’ll be making a day trip to Estes Park. Floods won’t keep the aspens from turning gold. -Julie
For more information on how to help Colorado flood victims, HelpColoradoNow.org has a list of responding agencies.