Astounding. That’s a word we don’t hear too often, even in this internet-fueled era of hyperbole.
But it is the best, most appropriate adjective to describe the outpouring of generosity with which the Durango community has responded to the Tercero Townhouse Fire.
A “Fill the Cop Car” promotion seeking donations for the residents left homeless by the June 14 fire quickly turned into an “overwhelming” display of help from the community, said Durango Police Department Cmdr. Bob Brammer.
The hope was that enough donations would arrive to fill a single Durango police cruiser. As of last Thursday, donations of clothes, household items, toys, gift cards and cash filled not one, but two police cars and a mobile command post as large as any recreational vehicle holding up summer traffic on Molas Pass.
The response did not end there. Weekend events included a Sunday fundraiser at JBar hosted by The Point (92.9-FM) and boosted by local brewers, soda makers, a silent auction and live local bands.
Currently, locals are helping on GoFundMe accounts set up for donations to help residents recover from the fire (search “Kevin Abeyta” to help the family of the young man killed in the fire; search “Home Fire Recovery Fund” to help Hilda Picasso, Abeyta’s roommate; and search “Madu Family” to assist the Madu family of four).
It is refreshing to note that Durango’s generosity does not only shine in tragic times. As detailed in a letter to the editor today from Pat Jackson, an Escalante Middle School class inspired by a visit from “Dooley,” a peregrine falcon from the St. Francis Wildlife Rehabilitation center in Arboles, organized a fundraiser in return, taking extra time and effort to create cards and posters for sale to benefit the center.
By the way, we can’t take credit for coming up with “astounding.” That comes from another letter today, this one from Our Place, a local agency that cares for Alzheimer’s and dementia clients. The word describes not just our community’s response to their fundraising efforts, but the depth of connections made between the staff and community members, so many of whom are struggling with challenges presented by elderly family members with these debilitating conditions.
Astounding generosity. Add that to the long list of reasons we are blessed to live here.