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‘People helping people is the story of today’ | Red Cross shelter inundated with donations, volunteers

More than 100 people are staying on cots at the American Red Cross Shelter at the YMCA of Northern Colorado.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — More than 100 people are staying on cots Friday night at the American Red Cross Shelter at the YMCA of Northern Colorado in Lafayette, where so many people brought donations and offered to volunteer that organizers had to turn people away. 

RELATED: How to help Boulder County fire victims

“We are really grateful for the generosity of folks, but we don’t need more food, don’t need more water -- we’ve got plenty of that here,” Red Cross public relations officer John Seward said. 

Seward recommended that those who wish to help consider making monetary donations to the Red Cross to have the greatest impact. He said those with donations should contact the Boulder County Office of Emergency Management to find out where their items would have the greatest impact.

“You know, I’ve never had to use the service of the Red Cross before, but I’ve got nothing but great things to say about them,” retired trucker Forrest Smith said.

Smith said he believed his home of 30 years was likely destroyed in the Marshall Fire. He planned on spending a second night at the shelter Tuesday. 

Red Cross disaster workers, some of whom have had to evacuate their own homes, are helping Marshall Fire evacuees find a...

Posted by American Red Cross of Colorado on Friday, December 31, 2021

Outside, volunteers helped distribute nearly 1,000 space heaters donated by Xcel Energy.  

“It’s really brought the community together is the biggest thing, and people helping people is the story of today,” volunteer Kieran Cain said.  

Louisville resident Jason Klotsche picked up several for his neighbors. 

“Just grabbed a bunch for everybody, just knowing that our entire neighborhood is out of heat right now,” Klotsche said. 

When the roads clear, Klotsche said he, too, will join in the recovery efforts. 

“See how we can all rally together and help pull through this thing together,” Klotsche said.