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Neighbors helping neighbors


July 1, 2012 by csukach

Record-high temperatures, gusty winds and a parched landscape in and around Colorado Springs, Colo., aided the Waldo Canyon Fire in becoming one of the most destructive fires in the state’s history.

While evacuation orders for affected areas continue to lift, some families are still displaced and firefighters continue to work on a blaze that’s 45 percent contained.

Wanting to help families who’ve lost everything as well as provide supplies to firefighters working diligently to keep the fire from spreading, Colorado Springs residents find themselves volunteering time, money and goods to their neighbors.

Below is a story of just one group of people working together to help provide relief to those in the community who need it most.

Members from Air Force Space Command’s Top Three Association organized a drive June 28 to gather needed items from Peterson Air Force Base donors to deliver to Care and Share for distribution to firefighters and evacuees.


Master Sgt. April Coleman, Air Force Space Command Top Three member and drive organizer: “It kind of started off as just a, ‘I want to do something to help,’ but it’s turned into–everyone was just waiting for somebody to say, ‘I’ll be the POC, let’s do this.’    

“So we took in probably so far about 2500 pounds.  We’re going to go right now.  We should have a truckload again tonight and there’s nine boxes waiting at the commissary.”   

Tech. Sgt. Chad Kaseman, Air Force Space Command Command Chief’s office: “We were sitting in the office and figured out we needed to do something and we came up with the idea to come over here, take donations and that way we can help out the firefighters.  It’s the right thing to do and it’s the least we can do.”

Chief Master Sgt. Jim Byrnes, 21st Mission Support Group Superintendent:  “Those guys are doing incredible work up there and whatever I can do to help.  I know can’t go up there and fight fires but I can do something and this is what I choose to do.

NATSOUND:  Master Sgt. April Coleman speaking with a Care and Share volunteer: “Excuse me?  Yeah, we had three boxes coming in today.  It’s all this and that, so if you need to open them, we’ve been boxing them.”

Stacey Poore, Care and Share Chief Development Officer:  “The people have just had such a desire to do something.  People can’t sit still and hang out and watch.  They want to be engaged.”

Master Sgt. April Coleman:  “It was very emotional.  And their volunteers are out there and they’re from four-year-olds to eighty-year-olds out there unloading the vehicles at Care and Share.  So it’s definitely a community that’s standing by each other at the time we need to the most.”   

Audrey Walter, Care and Share volunteer:  “Just a group of us from church all just decided to help out because there’s a lot going on and a lot of our friends lost their houses and so, that’s just the only way we can really help right now.”

Stacey Poore:  “We’re at capacity.  Our warehouse is 50 thousand square feet and we’ve collected almost half a mil, or as of last night, it was about half a million pounds of food since Sunday.”

Master Sgt. April Coleman:  “We’re going to do this through Sunday for sure…”

Stacey Poore:  “That’s awesome.  Thank you so much.” 

Master Sgt. April Coleman:  “We’re just going to keep bringing stuff and…” 

Stacey Poore:  “You’re amazing.”

1 comment »

  1. Mike says:

    Wow…super coverage. Touching.

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