Stretch that holiday spirit
We live in a glorious place. Most of us are just finishing up a fabulous holiday season, and it’s even started to snow again. When you live in a place like Aspen, it can be hard to remember that bad things happen, but they do.During this holiday season, a longtime local family lost their home to fire, and a 16-month-old local child was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of cancer. In Asia and East Africa, a tsunami has taken tens of thousands of lives and disease is expected to take tens of thousands more.Often there is little we can do about such horrible events, but that isn’t so with these three cases.Billy and Sherry Tomb have lost virtually all of their household items and personal possessions. An account has been set up to help them through US Bank. You can drop off donations at any branch or mail them to the Tomb Family Relief Fund c/o the Pitkin County Jail, 506 East Main Street, Aspen, CO 81611. Sixteen-month-old Miguel Vasquez of Basalt is fighting neuroblastoma and along with chemotherapy will have to receive a stem-cell transplant and possibly a bone-marrow transplant. A fund has been set up for Miguel at Vectra Bank. Donations can be made at any Vectra Bank location, account No. 4759753843 or dropped off at the offices of All Valley Women’s Care or Aspen Valley Pediatrics.Providing support to the tsunami victims can be more confusing, given all of the different ways to contribute funds. The Red Cross has dedicated all money given to their international response fund to relief operations. You can make a donation at any US Bank location, go to http://www.redcross.org or send a donation to American Red Cross, Western Colorado Chapter, 506 Gunnison Ave., Grand Junction, CO 81501-2620. AmeriCares is also preparing emergency relief flights to bring medical supplies and water treatments to affected areas. You can donate directly through their website at http://www.americares.org or call 1-800-486-4357.A local organization, Grassroots Asia, is also providing emergency relief. You can contribute to their fund by calling 923-1700 or going to their website, http://www.grassrootsasia.org. Grassroots Asia is also supporting Snowmass Villager Debbie Pennington’s relief trip and you can donate funds specifically for her trip.In our search for reputable relief organizations, we found the website http://www.charitynavigator.org to be helpful. This site allows would-be donors to do their own research before contributing to large charities.During the holidays, our hearts are often full with the friends and family around us. This year, let’s not forget to share that holiday spirit with people in need, both locally and across the globe.