City of Aspen to donate $5K to Marshall Fire victims
Community Foundation Boulder County is point organization for financial donations
Aspen City Council agreed on Monday to donate $5,000 to the Community Foundation Boulder County to support victims of the Marshall Fire that swept through communities on the Front Range in December, burning hundreds of homes and leaving thousands of people homeless.
The foundation was chosen at the request of Boulder County Office of Emergency Management, which is partnering with the nonprofit organization, according to Angie Sprang, assistant to the city manager.
Council approved the donation at its work session on Monday, after Councilwoman Rachel Richards suggested on Jan. 25 that the city donate as a gesture of goodwill.
What the proper and most effective channel to donate was in question last week and council directed staff to find the best option, which Sprang did.
“I am in the ‘keeping it simple stupid’ category,” Richards said. “I think that directing the community foundation in Boulder are kind of triaging this out as needs occur, as they receive funds, as they know what is needed so I think that would be the most direct route.”
Community Foundation Boulder County was able to allocate over $7 million in relief immediately after the fires, thanks to the generosity of thousands of donors.
Sprang told council that $5.5 million in financial assistance was distributed to thousands of individuals and families whose homes have been destroyed or damaged or were evacuated, and $1.5 million is now available to those who lost wages from businesses that closed or were destroyed or lost tools of the trade from various industries, such as plumbers, mechanics, electricians, health care workers, teachers and service workers.
Additionally, $150,000 was granted to United Policyholders to support anyone who needs help navigating their insurance policies, according to Sprang.
Fire victims need new items since most of them lost all their belongings, but individual items and small donations are no longer being accepted.
However, if anyone in the Aspen community is interested in creating an organized effort and arranging for a truck to transport new items to the donation site, they can call 720-574-2300 and then select option 2.
A list of items needed can be found at https://docs.google.com/document/d/19NCYK-ZJwW_5elixOXxb1cEqi4KRFoQCNhAOHdc9jTs/edit.
If anyone else is interested in financially donating to the cause, they are asked to do so directly online at https://www.commfound.org/grants/get-grant/Boulder-County-Wildfire-Fund.
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