BOULDER, Colo. — A food bank that just expanded saw a sudden spike in donations after a board member with the nonprofit lost everything in the Marshall Fire.
Harvest of Hope Pantry expanded their resources, opening a bigger location on Monday at Pearl Street east of Foothills Parkway.
The nonprofit didn’t plan it this way, but the extra space comes at a time they’re seeing extra families in need after devastating wildfires.
“It’s mostly folks who have been displaced, they’re going to stay with a friend, and their friend wasn’t planning on having guests for the weekend,” said Trent Hein, board vice chairman of Harvest of Hope.
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The new space was seen for the first time for some staff just days before the new year.
Harvest of Hope's past board chairman, Rick Chadwick, said the new spot is an answer to his prayers, in a YouTube video posted on New Year’s Day.
“I cried as I toured the place,” said Chadwick in the video.
While preparing a new expanded location, Chadwick’s home was among the at least thousand homes and businesses that burnt to the ground in Thursday's catastrophic Marshall fire.
“…Burned down that night, lost everything..." said Chadwick.
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Typically, the food bank would take any food donations, but following a disaster, staff for Harvest of Hope and organizers with the Red Cross in Lafayette said the best way to help after the fire is to provide monetary donations. Hein said when there’s an increased need, some of that money goes to help buy gift cards for those who may have lost everything.
“Let's get this building paid off. We need a million dollars to cover our loan,” said Chadwick.
The food pantry couldn't quite put an exact number on it, but the monetary donations that followed Chadwick’s video on YouTube lead to the largest spike Harvest of Hope has ever seen in their nearly ten-year history.
Hein estimated tens of thousands of dollars.
"They want to help, and what is the easiest and best way to help is to open their check book and give money to those organizations that are on the ground and prepared to serve the community,” said Hein
Rick said in his video with prayer and insurance, he and his family are going to be okay - living among good neighbors helps, too.