Tuesday, September 6, 2005
Small things -- a clean shirt, pillow or box of crayons -- can make a big difference when you've lost everything.
For the next two weeks, the exhibit hall at the Routt County Fairgrounds will be a gathering place for items benefiting survivors of Hurricane Katrina.
Most or all of the items will go to victims who recently arrived -- or will arrive this week -- at the old Lowry Air Force Base in Aurora.
"I can't even imagine -- these people came to Colorado with just the clothes on their backs, and even some of that is borrowed," said Cindy Wright, who is organizing the Hayden effort through the Larimer County and Mile High United Way offices.
Wright will collect items at the exhibit hall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday starting today. Needed items include blankets, new pillows, clean clothing, baby items and first aid items.
School supplies, books, games and other items to occupy children also are helpful.
"Most people just have stuff like this laying around," Wright said.
She asked that any money donations be sent to the American Red Cross and other organizations.
About 160 evacuees arrived at the former Air Force Base Monday and more are expected this week.
They are staying in dorm rooms at the Community College of Denver at Lowry.
The United Way has arranged for extra items donated in Colorado to go to evacuees in other parts of the nation, said Linda Ekblad, 211 program director for the Larimer County United Way.
Wright is looking for volunteers to help sort, pack and take items to United Way offices in Fort Collins or Denver. Anybody interested may call her at 276-4446.