In response to evacuations, economic stress and anxiety about what’s in store for residents affected by the 416 and Burro fires, several community initiatives have been created.
Here is how you can help:
According to a Friday news release from Alpine Bank, the 416 Fire has caused an estimated 500 to 1,000 La Plata and San Juan county residents to lose their jobs. The Community Emergency Relief Fund, managed by the Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado, was created to help provide urgently needed bridge funding for essentials such as groceries and gas. The fund is set up for broad-based community emergencies in Southwest Colorado, with an initial fundraising goal of $500,000 to support community members rendered jobless from wildfire. The Community Foundation is accepting tax-deductible donations online at www.swcommunityfoundation.org or by mail to: P.O. Box 1673, Durango, CO 81302.Local First recently announced that its “Let the Love Rain Campaign” will be held Friday through Sunday. The organization has partnered with – and will hold events for – local businesses struggling during the fires to keep money coming in from tourism and residents. Events include discounts, giveaways and games. To view the events schedule and for more information, visit www.facebook.com/localfirstlaplata.Ska Brewing Co. has donated a keg’s-worth of beer to nearly all Durango and Silverton beer-serving businesses to make up for the decrease in tourists and to help their employees keep their jobs. Ska also encourages breweries to host fundraisers on June 23 during the Save the San Juans event, which will donate money from pint sales to the Community Emergency Relief Fund. For more information, breweries should email firstname.lastname@example.org.Axis Health System is offering various counseling options for people who are in crisis or having difficulty coping with disaster-related stress. These include: three free, 30-minute counseling visits for new patients; walk-in care for those 18 years old or older in crisis at Crossroads at Grandview, 1125 Three Springs Blvd.; and immediate support through the Axis crisis line at 247-5245. To view crisis symptoms and suggestions or for more information, visit www.axishealthsystem.org.In Home Emergency Learning, Planning and Preparedness will hold a free informational event about how to help seniors prepare for wildfire disasters from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Durango/La Plata Senior Center, 2424 Main Ave. The event will include a presentation, question-and-answer session and a noon lunch. Cost for lunch is $7 for attendees younger than 60 years old and free for adult caregivers and attendees 60 and older. To register, call 382-6445 or visit www.planetreg.com/ihelpprepare.A “cut-a-thon” event will be held to raise money for those affected by the 416 Fire on Friday and Saturday at Daisy’s Salon, 121 E. 10th St. Proceeds collected from services during the two-day fundraiser will go to support fire relief efforts. For more information, visit www.daisyssalondurango.com or email@example.com