In 2020 Colorado experienced record-breaking wildfires in several parts of the state. According to VolunteerFirefighter.org Colorado has a total of 418 Volunteer fire departments and recruits approximately 3,500 additional volunteer emergency responders to be fully staffed.

Pine Gulch Fire on August 8th, 2020. Image Courtesy of The Denver Post

These volunteer departments are dependent on community donations and occasional grants. As fires rage across the state these teams are overwhelmed, understaffed, and underequipped.

In these circumstances Janelle Cluff and Michelle Roethig, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided to take action. With the help of other sisters in their local congregation, and many neighbors who responded to Facebook posts, they amassed a large number of items.

Donated items included 18 cases of bottled water, 278 bottles of sports drinks, 88 bottles of eye drops, 56 packages of Mentholated cough drops, 126 packages of baby wipes, 204+ packs of Kleenex, 193 tubes of chapstick, 83 bottles of various sizes of Gold Bond powder, 90 tubes of diaper rash cream, 46 individual hand warmers, 4 nasal sprays, and too many granola bar / jerky / snack items too count.

Across the metro in Arvada, sisters of a different congregation had the same idea.

Ami Paulsen volunteered her home for a drop off point and was overwhelmed by the number of strangers in her neighborhood who responded to a request on Facebook by dropping off various supplies.

“In the middle of a pandemic neighbors and strangers gave willingly to support the brave men and women who are fighting to save homes.”

This donation went toward the Rist Canyon Volunteer Fire Department.

RIST CANYON VOLUNTEER FIRE DEPT.

Liisa Payne who dropped off the supplies said, “The firefighters were overwhelmed with gratitude for our donations, both the hard supplies and the cash donations. As they unloaded our truck, they noticed a couple thank you notes someone had written to them and they stopped to take pictures of each little note.”

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