The Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado has announced that in conjunction with local synagogues, community agencies and national partners, the organization has raised more than $75,000 through the Colorado Fire Relief Fund to help victims, firefighters and other first responders as well as others impacted by the fires.
The federation launched this fund in response to the recent spate of wildfires in Colorado, including the High Park Fire in the foothills above Fort Collins, as well as Colorado Springs’ Waldo Canyon fire.
These two fires were the most destructive wildfires in Colorado history, burning nearly 600 homes.
“Thanks to donations from more than 20 states, our national response will help Colorado fire victims and first responders,” said Amy Toltz-Miller, the federation’s annual campaign chair.
“With more than 500 donors, federation received many generous donations — 20% of which came from outside Colorado.
“We are so proud to be a part of the Jewish Federations of North America community across the country. Our collective response to crisis situations is amazing.”
Word spread quickly through the JFNA system when the federation launched the Colorado Fire Relief Fund.
“We were able to reach out to our national community quickly and effectively,” said Nancy Gart, federation’s coordinating council chair.
“We appreciate all of the support as firefighters and other first responders face the worst wildfire season in a decade and countless families have lost their homes.”
With more than 175,000 acres already burned in Colorado in 2012, more than 600 homes have been destroyed, thousands were evacuated from homes and six people lost their lives this year in the wildfires.
The heat combined with low humidity and unseasonable dryness has firefighters working almost without stop to combat the wildfires.
Initial funds will be allocated from the Colorado Fire Relief Fund as follows:
• American Red Cross: 2012 Colorado Wildfires Fund: $20,000;
• Salvation Army: Colorado Wildfire Relief: $10,000; and
• Firefighters in Colorado Springs and Ft. Collins: $10,000.
The federation will allocate the remaining funds once long-term needs are assessed for the affected areas.
One hundred percent of all donations to the federation’s Colorado Fire Relief Fund will go to directly fire recovery and help victims. There will be no administrative fees taken out of these funds.
“Our tradition says whoever has saved one life, it is considered that he has saved the whole world,” said Doug Seserman, federation president and CEO.
“We have a responsibility to our greater community to assist in saving and sustaining as many lives as we can.”
The Colorado Fire Relief Fund will remain open through the end of July. If additional fires start this summer, the federation will continue to raise funds to assist those affected.
Information: 720.934.5365 or www.jewishcolorado.org.