Springs charities respond to Waldo Canyon, ask for donations

Colorado Springs nonprofits are responding to the needs of people displaced from their homes because of the Waldo Canyon fire, as well as attempting to raise money for firefighters who are working to stop the blaze.

Care and Share Food Bank

Care and Share Food Bank remains the main drop-off point for food donations, and is partnering with the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities to provide necessary food and other donations to people displaced by the Waldo Canyon fire.

Take donations to the Care and Share warehouse at 2605 Preamble Point, just a quarter mile east of Constitution from Powers Boulevard. The warehouse is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“We don’t need volunteers at this time, because people have really responded,” said Shannon Coker. “But if people want to volunteer, call first, 434-5724, so we can coordinate.”

The charity needs canned and boxed meals, as well as personal items like shaving cream and diapers.

Red Cross

The Red Cross needs money to assist both evacuees and firefighters. The donations stay in the Pikes Peak area, if designated to the local chapter. Donate online at www.pparc.org, or drop donations off in person at Pikes Peak American Red Cross, 1040 S. 8th St.

The Shops of Briargate will accept donations on behalf of the Red Cross beginning Thursday night. Checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross with Waldo Canyon fire clearly marked. Donation boxes are available at the shops and in the management office.

Wildland Firefighters

People who want to donate to benefit wildland firefighters and their families on a national level should contact the Wildland Firefighters Foundation at 2049 Airport Way, Boise, Idaho, 83705. Call 208-336-2996.

Pikes Peak Community Foundation

The Pikes Peak Community Foundation has created a firefighters fund to support public and volunteer fire departments in El Paso and Teller counties.

Money collected will provide financial resources for fire departments – covering any need that might arise, from food and cots to firefighter equipment. In addition, money can be used for future wildfire mitigation efforts in the Pikes Peak region.

“This fund will help provide resources to the local fire departments that quickly responded to this fire. We want to support their efforts and help them sustain their hard work,” said Eric Cefus, director of philanthropic services for the Pikes Peak Community Foundation. “Donations to this fund will aid in these efforts affecting our whole community.”

Donate online at www.ppcf.org.

The Pikes Peak Community Foundation is also encouraging donors to support the efforts of the local chapter of the American Red Cross to help those displaced by the fire, Pikes Peak Humane Society in their efforts help displaced animals, and Care and Share Food Bank.

“Our intention is not to detract from the fund-raising efforts of these great local agencies, but to provide another means of support to ensure the firefighters’ needs do not go unmet during this time of crisis,” Cefus said.

Springs Rescue Mission

The Springs Rescue Mission is opening its warehouse to receive items for those affected by the fire. It’s also collecting Gatorade, blankets, food, clothing and household items.

“Our prayer is that we can direct much-needed help from their friends and neighbors quickly and efficiently,” said Springs Rescue Mission CEO Rev. Joe Vazquez. “We also hope to somehow benefit those who are risking their lives for the community’s safety.”

Those interested in making a donation can call 632-1822. Donations can be dropped off at Springs Rescue Mission Supportive Family Services at 1 West Las Vegas Street in Colorado Springs. Collection hours are Monday – Friday from 9:30 am – 4 pm and Saturday from 9 – 11:30 am. The mission will distribute the Waldo donations through agencies directly engaged with those impacted by the fire.

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities will providing daily breakfast for the Waldo Canyon Fire evacuees at Cheyenne Mountain High School in Colorado Springs, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner for the evacuees at Summit Elementary School in Divide.

Meal service will started Wednesday and will continue until evacuees are allowed to return to their homes.

“Providing meals for the evacuees will require Catholic Charities’ Marian House to prepare about 450 meals more per day. This will be in addition to the 600+ noon time meals we already provide on a daily basis,” said Mark Rohlena, president & CEO of Catholic Charities. “We ask that everyone continues to pray for those battling this fire, as well as those who are displaced or in harm’s way.”

To deliver an additional 450 meals per day, Catholic Charities is asking the community for help. The following items are needed:

• monetary donations

• sliced fruit (fruit trays)

• frozen potatoes: hash browns or tater tots

• boxes of frozen waffles or frozen pancakes

• breakfast pastries

• cereal

• butter/margarine

• syrup

• oatmeal

• disposable aluminum pans – 9 x 13 or larger

• heavy duty / industrial aluminum foil

• sugar, creamer, condiment packets (mayo, mustard, ketchup)

• Volunteers to help prepare meals.  Call Doug at 719-866-6286 to volunteer.

Donations can be dropped off at the Marian House, 14 West Bijou Street (west side of building at the dock), from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To make a donation on-line, go to www.ccharitiescc.org and click on the donate button. Once there, please specify Waldo Canyon Fire/disaster relief on the donation form.

Food will be prepared at the Marian House and transported to the Cheyenne Mountain High School shelter. It’s unclear how food will be prepared for the Summit Elementary School shelter in Divide. Catholic Charities is working to get access to Highway 24 to deliver food.