It's been five weeks since fires broke out in our community. While our vision to rebuild remains steadfast, there are many steps that we need to take together before we can get there. Our community still needs to remove debris from the burn area. Foundations and in some cases basements, need to be removed. 6 inches of topsoil needs to be removed from the area before we can even begin to rebuild. These five weeks have felt like 5 years and as the reality of the timeline becomes clearer, some may be struggling to maintain the energy and strength needed to continue to move forward.
Which is why today, the Community Foundation is announcing two grants to support mental health needs for our friends and neighbors.
Our grant to Impact on Education will ensure additional behavioral health advocates are available at the most fire-affected schools in the Boulder Valley School District.
Our second grant to Boulder Jewish Family Services will provide crisis counseling to anyone who needs it in individual and group settings, with trauma-informed practices.
Together, these grants total over half a million dollars in additional support to our community.
Please, if you are struggling right now, reach out and accept the help that is available. You are not in this alone.
In the last month, the Community Foundation Boulder County has distributed $7 million in direct financial assistance to people affected by the events of December 30th. Community Foundation staff and board were on site at the disaster assistance center the week after the fire, doing what our community and tens of thousands of donors to our fund expected us to do – making sure that money got into the hands of people who needed it most as quickly as possible. We are so grateful that approximately 90% of the households affected by the fire accepted the help. Financial assistance is still available. People can apply at boco.org/marshallfire.
In addition to direct financial assistance, the foundation quickly approved a grant to United Policyholders, to help people navigate their insurance policies. United Policyholders is hosting webinars, has online resources and are there to answer questions. To anyone who is grappling with their insurance policy, please access the resources being offered by United Policyholders.
We are deeply grateful to the tens of thousands of donors who have entrusted us to support our community with over $27 million. We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and yet it’s still not enough to meet the needs we are seeing.
This is the most devastating fire in our state’s history. Cost estimates of the destruction are over half a billion. As of today, the community foundation has granted nearly a third of what we’ve received. And that’s just in the first five weeks. We know that rebuilding our community will take years. We hope that you will continue to walk with us down our path to recovery, with our thanks, and our love.
Tatiana Hernandez, CEO