The Strength of Community in a Time of Tragedy

Image by Scott Brooks
Image Courtesy of Scott Brooks

It is in times of tragedy and despair in Colorado, when we feel isolated from the rest of the world, in which we realize how fortunate we are to be a part of such a strong and compassionate community. As rivers breached their banks, roads turned to rivers and families were forced to evacuate their homes, we were faced with a question. What do you take with you and what do you leave behind? These are the moments that force us to take a step back and evaluate what is truly important. It’s the memories, sentimental items, and loved ones who occupy your life that are priceless and ultimately irreplaceable.

I  believe that we are profoundly compassionate and loving human beings, who genuinely want to help others succeed. But that begs the question: why does it take something as devastating as severe flooding, for us to come together? In a span of two days I spoke to more of my neighbors than I had in a year of living in my now flood-stricken complex. Regardless of the reasoning behind the strengthening of communities across the Front Range, the outreach is commendable. You don’t hear about neighbors hoarding their sump pump or their stash of food and bottled water.

In spite of emergency officials urging people to stay home and avoid devastated areas, leaving cleanup efforts to professionals, our community is doing anything they can to help. Craigslist and social media networks are full of people across the state of Colorado and beyond reaching out; offering shelter, food and a helping hand. As the 326,000 gallons of torrential rain fell, people all along the Front Range banned together to bucket water out of flooding homes and push cars through flooded roads.

Now that the rain has let up and blue skies have returned, the real work to re-build begins. At this point, officials and disaster relief agencies are seeking donations for those who have been displaced. If you are interested in helping we have included a list of organizations seeking volunteers and donations.

American Red Cross

The Salvation Army

Help Colorado Now

Colorado Housing Search

MGive

Colorado Farm Bureau Foundation

Weld County Flood Relief Fund

Foothills United Way

Longmont Community Foundation

Harvest of Hope Food Pantry

Community Food Share Serving Boulder and Broomfield Counties

Weld Food Bank

Boulder County Humane Society

Larimer Humane Society

Longmont Humane Society

Bonfils Blood Center

Local businesses are also doing their part to raise money for flood relief. Coffee shops and grocery stores are making efforts to collect money. Dance and yoga studios are donating portions of their class fees to relief efforts across the state.  After re-scheduling Saturday’s football game, CU Boulder invited over 800+ flood victims to campus for a hot meal and meet-and-greet with student athletes. Football players, Men’s and Women’s Basketball, Women’s Lacrosse and Women’s Volleyball all had a presence at the event. We Flow for BOCO is a yoga event being hosted at Agora at the riverside on Sunday September 22nd. The event has a suggested donation of $20, all to be donated to relief efforts.

Help is still needed across the Front Range. With over 17,400 homes damaged, 1,500+ homes destroyed, and 11,700+ people evacuated – no gesture is too small. Whether it’s donating a dollar or picking up trash and debris, lend a hand. Be informed. Be proactive. Pay it forward. We would like to take this moment to thank all of the emergency services and volunteers that have worked day and night to help keep the Boulder community and beyond, safe and dry.

 

Share your experiences!