The staggering volume of donated food, water, and other supplies nearly overwhelmed the Red Cross Sunday.
Bart Banks with Red Cross Emergency Disaster Services thanked the community for support while emphasizing that financial gifts are a more effective way to help.
"People have made a bunch of in-kind donations," Banks said. "It's hard for us to deal with these. We prefer monetary donations. However, we are going to use all of the water and Gatorade that has arrived."
All day Sunday, cars dropped-off donations for firefighters, evacuees, even for pets. People not directly affected by the fire are doing everything they can to help their neighbors.
Some, like the Horton family of Colorado Springs, loaded up their pickup truck and drove for miles to deliver their donations.
"We bought cat food, dog food, some bird food because it's Colorado, and you've gotta help everybody," Pam Horton said.
The Hortons dropped off food for the firefighters at a command center. They drove to two shelters and delivered even more food.
"Just trying to bring it wherever they need it," Becka Horton said.
There is plenty of need for the thousands of people ordered to evacuate, including Michael and Joan Clark who had to leave their home near the Garden of the Gods.
"It's just wonderful that people care," Clark said. "This is the kind of thing that brings out the good in people."
Donations were literally piling up at Cheyenne Mountain High School on Sunday. Stacks of water and other supplies stretched the full length of a Red Cross truck volunteers served hot meals from.
"It's been, it's been all day," Banks said. "We really do appreciate the community coming out and supporting us like this."
People even dropped off Gatorade, coffee, and food for the troopers at various roadblocks around town.
Area resident Diana Wright came with her binoculars to get a closer look at the fire. Wright is off work indefinitely, because her office was evacuated along with hundreds of homes.
"There's just a lot of hot spots up there," Wright said. "All those people displaced. Their houses threatened, and the wildlife threatened, and the beautiful forest land. It's just going up in flames, and it just breaks my heart."
Pam Horton says dropping off donations is a much-needed distraction.
"It's really sad to watch," Horton said. "I don't like to look at it a whole lot. I like the fact that so many people are helping. That's what we do here in this state."
Monetary donations will help the Red Cross the most. Other priority items include new batteries, underwear, and socks.
They're also posting a list of those items on their website http://www.helpcoloradonow.org
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