BROOMFIELD, Colo. – Hundreds of people whose homes were damaged or destroyed by the Marshall Fire last year gathered for a holiday extravaganza as the one-year anniversary of the fire approaches.
Denver 7 Gives teamed up with A Precious Child and Amazon to put on the event.
The event, which was held at A Precious Child in Broomfield on Saturday, provided the families an opportunity to select gifts, pick out Christmas trees and create new holiday memories.
It’s been a long, tough year for people like David Goddard.
His home in Louisville was destroyed by the fire a few days after Christmas.
“This is one of those things you can never prepare yourself for,” Goddard said. “The fire was down the street when I left the house, and I think it was a surprise when I came back and it was all gone.”
Over the past year, Goddard’s family and others have witnessed an outpouring of community support as they began the slow, painstaking task of rebuilding.
That community support was also evident at Saturday’s event.
“We know that our employees, our customers, our operations were dramatically impacted by the Marshall Fire, so today is really a chance for us to give back to the community, to give these families hope during the holiday season,” said Brittany Morris Saunders with Amazon. “I can't imagine what it's like a few days after the holidays to lose everything.”
Families who were impacted by the Marshall Fire were invited to visit a one-stop location where they could select gifts for each other, pick up a Christmas tree and spend some time creating new holiday memories, like taking photos at a photo booth or decorating holiday crafts.
Organizers said more than 700 people were expected to attend.
“This event is really to celebrate the season,” said Maria Martinez, the resource center director for A Precious Child. “We've been working with the Marshall fire families since the beginning when the fires happened.”
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis stopped by to show his support for the families and praised the community’s efforts.
“It's been a very tough year. It's hard to believe it's been a year already,” Polis said. “Colorado’s a loving, caring state, and we care for those who are impacted by natural disasters. This is just an example of Colorado’s strong resilience.”
That resilience helped Goddard’s family through the past year.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to see how caring and giving everybody can be,” Goddard said.
Goddard’s family currently lives in a rental home while their new home is under construction.
“Hopefully we'll be back in the house before next Christmas,” he said.
As the anniversary of the fire approaches, Goddard and other families know they are not alone.
“I'm very blessed and fortunate that I can I've got a great community around me,” Goddard said.
The Dec. 30, 2021, Marshall Fire damaged or destroyed more than 1,000 homes and businesses in Superior, Louisville and Boulder County amid hurricane-force winds and extreme drought conditions.
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