Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jewish Federations Aid Victims of Colorado Fires

Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, in conjunction with local synagogues, community organizations and national partners, has launched the Colorado Fire Relief Fund to help victims, firefighters, first responders and others impacted by the wildfires raging in Colorado. 

Federations are urged to direct donors to the Colorado Fire Relief Fund online or send checks with the notation “Colorado Fire Relief Fund” to Allied Jewish Federation of Colorado, 300 S. Dahlia, Suite 300, Denver, CO 80246. One-hundred percent of all donations to the Colorado Fire Relief Fund will go to directly combat the fire and help victims. There will be no administrative fees taken out of these funds.

“Our Jewish community responds quickly to crisis around the world and now we are mobilizing to help victims and relief efforts in response to the massive fires across Colorado,” said Nancy Gart, Federation’s Coordinating Council chair. “Through our existing crisis relief structure, Federation has established an effective way for our community to respond with all donations going directly to help disaster relief efforts during this terrible crisis.”

Colorado is appealing for help as the fires are still out of control. Fires are burning in Durango and the Waldo Canyon Blaze is consuming more land. Thousands of Colorado Springs residents have been evacuated from their homes.

 “Our mountains are a veritable tinderbox due to drought conditions through the winter combined with record-breaking temperatures, extremely dry air with almost no humidity, and plenty of dead trees due to the insidious pine beetles, creating the 'perfect storm' conditions in mountain forests,” said Federation President and CEO Doug Seserman. “Currently there are 14 fires raging in Colorado and it’s only the beginning of the summer. When we face fire conditions, it’s usually not until August and not of this magnitude.”

As the community convener, Federation mobilizes resources to respond quickly to crisis situations. “Our tradition says whoever has saved one life, it is considered that he has saved the whole world,” said Seserman. “We have a responsibility to our greater community to assist in saving and sustaining as many lives as we can.”

Please visit the Federation’s website for details on how to help.

JFNA and Jewish Federations are committed to care for victims of global natural disasters, and have emergency relief plans in place to aid those in need. Last year, Jewish Federations raised funds for those affected by widespread storms around the U.S., and more than $1 million for victims of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan. Other recent fundraising efforts included $30 million to help those affected by Hurricane Katrina, and $10 million in the aftermath of the southern Asia tsunami in 2004.


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