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Denver7 Gives donates car to family who lost everything in Marshall Fire

Van Leir family 'spirit lifted'
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Posted at 3:43 PM, Mar 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 09:34:18-04

BOULDER, Colo. — As the Marshall Fire approached Old Town Superior, Elizabeth Van Leir was shooting video on her cell phone of the smoke, unaware of how close the flames were to her neighborhood.

"I looked across the street, and I saw my mom's house on fire," Van Leir said. "I loaded up my kids and loaded up my dogs, and I honestly thought I was coming back."

By the next day, both her house and her mother's house had burned to the ground.

"I feel like all my history has been erased — all my childhood pictures, all my childrens' pictures, all my kids like artwork," she said. "A lifetime of memories is all gone."

For years, Van Leir has worked for Boulder Valley Schools, working with children who are housing insecure or homeless.

"I help the homeless community at my school," she said. "I have a new perspective on what it's like for them. It's taught me so much, and I really can now put myself in their shoes and see what they go through."

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Click here to go directly to the Denver7 Gives donation form then choose a campaign

While she is grateful she and her family made it out with their lives, two of their cars burned in the fire and another had heavy damage. Meanwhile, one of the two cars they made it out with is not reliable, especially as she and her husband are driving more from their new rental home.

"I have to haul the kids everywhere," Van Leir said."So I drive his car for now until we can afford another one."

That is where Denver7 Gives steps in because of viewers donating to our Wildfire Relief Fund, we gave them a 2016 Ford Explorer to replace one of they cars they lost.

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"I mean I'm so lucky. I just won the lottery," said Van Leir with tears in her eyes. "It really truly humbles me to realize how giving people have become, it's beautiful.

Groove Auto group delivered the car for free and gave a $1,500 discount so our Denver7 Gives donations could go further to help fire victims.

Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.

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