Donation centers overwhelmed with support for Marshall Fire victims

Sill-TerHar Motors
Posted at 6:33 PM, Jan 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 11:43:30-05

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Step into Sill-TerHar Motors' Ford showroom in Broomfield, and you'll find, in place of cars, a sea of donations.

"It's been an outpouring from our community, like nothing I've ever seen," said vice president Greg Larson.

He's used to selling cars, but operating a makeshift donation center is a new skill he and his staff are having to learn — and quickly.

"I didn't expect anything like this, so it's unbelievable," Larson said.

Donations started pouring in after he made a post on social media asking people to drop off a few things. Word got around fast, and people haven't stopped dropping things off, even as a sign on the doors warns the showroom can't take in any more.

"We started sorting and changing the showroom from a showroom full of cars to all of these items," Larson said.

From clothes to toiletries, kids toys and everything in-between, those affected by the Marshall Fire can stop by the showroom and leave with items they need as they restart to rebuild their lives.

"People who lost their homes in the fire, they are going through a lot right now, and this is the least we can do for them," said Payal Goyal, one of several volunteers helping to organize the donations.

The showroom, located at 150 Alter Street in Broomfield, is open this week from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Donations are no longer accepted.

Just a few minutes away, more than 100 cars lined up outside the nonprofit, A Precious Child, before it opened Monday morning, a sign of Coloradans eager to give back to those who've lost everything.

Among the donors was Kristen Gustafson and her carloads of donations.

"I did a major drive for A Precious Child at my home the last two days," she said. "[I] received six carloads and truckloads full of new and used items, thousands of dollars [worth]."

The donations were also made possible by those who dropped of thousands of dollars in items at the Bumps and Bundles store in Golden.

"It doesn't surprise me," said Autumn Stull, owner of Bumps and Bundles. "Colorado people and Golden people, I mean, I knew they would just show up strong."

Inside the nonprofit's facility, it was an all-hands-on-deck effort to make sure every single item donated was sorted correctly so it could be made available in the days, weeks and months to come.

"We know this is going to be a very long-term recovery effort, and we want to be there for them every step of the way," said Courtney Wickberg, chief communication officer with A Precious Child.

The nonprofit's resource center, where victims of the fire can shop for free, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. It's located at 7051 W. 118th Avenue in Broomfield.

From housing to food banks and everything else in between, there are many ways people affected by the Marshall Fire can get help — and how you can help — following last week's devastating wildfire. Click here for more.