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Families still feeling community support 3 months after Marshall Fire

The Arts Hub held "Art Drop-in's" for kids so parents could focus on fire-related errands or self-care.

LAFAYETTE, Colo. — The families affected by the Marshall Fire are still dealing with a lot of stress, insurance claims, a massive clean-up and the task of re-building.

Nearly three months later, The Arts Hub is still rallying around those who lost everything.

"We lost of all our arts and crafts from our kids in the fire, so we don't have any from when they were really young," said Jenny Singer Rupp, holding back tears.  

They lost cherished mementos, but now there's an opportunity to make new ones. 

"They brought home a piece of art that said '#1 Dad' and they gave it to me for my birthday today," said Daniel Rupp. 

The Singer Rupp family lost their home in the Marshall Fire. With that comes an enormous emotional toll along with the logistics of rebuilding a life changed forever by flames.

"Initially, when the fires happened, we were thinking of how we could be most helpful to the community," said executive director of The Arts Hub Courtney Huffman. "We knew this was going to be a long process, that it wasn’t just going to be one weekend and then everything was done. We were looking at the long haul and how we could be most effective later because there was so much initial response from the community."

Each week in March, The Arts Hub offered free "Art Drop-in" days for families dealing with the aftermath of the Marshall Fire. 

"We've had parents really, really excited about just having an opportunity to take a breather and not have to think so much," said Huffman.

While their children play and do arts and crafts, Jenny and Daniel have time to focus.

"We're scanning receipts and taking care of all of those things we have to do for the insurance claim, so just having the time on Saturday mornings to do that has been great," said Jenny. 

Huffman said the art drop-in days gave kids an opportunity to express themselves. 

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“It provides kids the opportunity to do arts and crafts and to have creative expression, an outlet and to spend time with friends and not be cooped up inside of a hotel room," said Huffman. "It also gives parents an opportunity to either take time for self-care or to go and run fire-related errands like dealing with insurance or talking to contractors and dealing with their re-build."

For Jenny, it's been heart-warming to see all of the community support. 

"That has been the one amazing thing that has come out of this. I wouldn't want to be a part of any other community during a time like this," she said. "Our school community with Fireside, they gave us clothing for the kids after the fire because there was a snowstorm. The restaurants in Boulder opened their doors to all of us."

She said they're very grateful for all the help they've received. 

"We would just like to say thank you to everyone that's been there for us in ways that we never could have imagined," said Jenny. 

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