Donations pour in

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Residents throughout the region have contributed to a Hayden woman's efforts to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Last week, Cindy Wright began collecting donated items for about 400 homeless victims living at the old Lowry Air Force Base in Aurora.

On Monday, boxes filled with clothing, toys, new bedding and other goods were neatly piled in the Routt County Fairgrounds exhibit hall. New baby strollers and a wheelchair -- practically new -- sat nearby.

Hayden High School students added more boxes filled with donations from a second-hand store run by Rebekah's Lodge.

The Industrial Company has donated a semitruck and driver to take the boxes to a distribution warehouse in Denver on Thursday. A Commerce City company, Trailblazer Inc., has provided a trailer, Wright said.

Today is the last day to drop off items at the exhibit hall.

At first, Wright wondered whether she would be able to fill the huge trailer, but on Tuesday she had doubled her collection.

"We have gotten a tremendous amount of stuff today," she said. "It's been really poppin'."

Front Range United Way offices have been directing residents in Northwest Colorado and nearby areas to Wright's collection point.

Resident from Steamboat Springs, Rangely and Rifle have dropped off items. Wright also was expecting goods from Grand Lake and Baggs, Wyo., as well as a U-Haul loaded with items from the Mission of Hope in Craig.

Hayden Valley Elementary School Student Council members have been busy gathering donations to add to the mix, and Steamboat and Craig residents have been helping with the sorting and packing process.

A United Way official said last week that the organization is working with other programs to distribute surplus goods in Denver to evacuees in other communities.

Needed items include children's and maternity clothes, unopened over-the-counter medications, personal hygiene products, bandages and other first-aid items. Wright also is accepting nonperishable foods.

Items may be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

-- To reach Tamera Manzanares, call 871-4204 or e-mail tmanzanares@steamboatpilot.com.

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