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Donation drop-off for Paradise, CA fire victims sees big turnout in Highlands Ranch

Posted at 3:32 PM, Dec 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-29 19:16:37-05

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. — As the slow and painful rebuilding of a California town ravaged by wildfire continues, a Colorado family is filling their basement with donations for the fire victims thanks to some big help from the community on Saturday.

Denver7 first brought you the story of Bethany Phelps and her family collecting donations for victims of the Camp Fire in Paradise, Calif. in mid-December. The Phelps’ cousins lost their home in the fire that tore through California in November.

Since the story, Denver7 viewers have responded tremendously with countless phone calls, emails and text messages to the station and Bethany asking how to help.

“I am still shocked,” Phelps said. “I really didn't know if two people would come or 200. People showing up with the donations just keeps reassuring and showing me that we are doing the right thing and things are going forward."

Community members brought donations to a planned drop-off at Cresthill Middle School on Saturday, making a difference in the lives of California families, some who lost everything.

“I thought, 'Wow, we got a lot of stuff we can give,'” said Peter Winscott. “We love this community; we have lived here for about five years and we went through a big medical crisis this year with my son, and the community rallied around us and so we just wanted to give back.”

“I truly know it is going to go to somebody who actually needs it,” Andrea Parkhill said.

“It’s a tough time for people that went through a devastating loss and we want to make sure that they are taken care of,” Dennis Oddy said.

The Phelpses are planning a trip out to California to deliver the items in January. With the growing number of donations, they may have to take a few truck loads.

“I would not be surprised if we are at more than two trucks,” Phelps said.

The Phelpses have a website updating the community with items that are still needed. You can also make a financial donation to help the Phelpses pay for the cost of renting vehicles to drive the donations to California.