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Denver7 Gives donates SUV to family that lost home, business and three cars in the Marshall Fire

Denver7 Gives donates SUV to family that lost home, business and three cars in the Marshall Fire
Posted at 6:41 PM, Jan 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-18 12:19:35-05
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LOUISVILLE, Colo. - Denver7 Gives viewers have generously donated more than $600,000 to help wildfire victims recover, and we are fulfilling that promise in the biggest surprise yet.

Behind the security fence, Jason and Meadow Tarves, along with their five children, look over what is left of everything they had.

"It's been like a living nightmare, really," said Jason.

The entire family was on a Christmas vacation when they learned the news on social media. The Marshall Fire had not only claimed their small business in Louisville, it also burned their home in Superior to the ground.

"It's memories. It's furniture. It's cars," said Meadow. "It's everything that you worked 26 years for just, in an hour, gone."

When President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden came to Colorado to tour the damage, they sat down with the Tarves family to hear their story.

"It felt genuine," said Meadow. "They both felt really genuine, and you could feel it. They cared."

Their family is no stranger to difficult times. Years ago when they moved to Colorado, Jason had a dramatic health scare.

"I had a hole in my heart from birth I didn't know about," he said. "About a year after we moved out here, I had a stroke."

The family weathered the storm together and came out stronger.

"He was in the ICU for a week," said Meadow. "We didn't know how he was going to be long-term. I mean, I think with Jason's health scare, we learned that we can do hard things. "

Following the Marshall Fire, one of the hardest things has been transportation. The wildfire burned three of their cars and damaged the fourth.

"We only had liability on those vehicles, so they're not covered under homeowners," said Jason. "So they're gone."

They have been borrowing a family member's van and driving their children to three different schools while juggling the recovery efforts for their home and business.

"So we're commuting, sitting in the van, eating in the van," said Meadow. "I feel like literally all day long, we'll just be in the van driving in circles. That's been really hard."

The family has worried about the price of cars with supply chain issues.

"With everything else going on, I'll completely admit, we need to get a car, but there's so many other things that need to be done," said Jason. "Like, I can't even wrap my head around it."

That's where generous donations from Denver7 Gives viewers come in. We made some calls to Colorado Auto Finders to give the Tarves family a big surprise - a 2014 Toyota Sequoia.

Ten-year-old Ivan Tarves is most excited about all the seats.

"I like how can fit all of us," he said with a huge smile.

Colorado Auto Finders generously gave them a three-year warranty for free if they have any problems with the SUV.

The family lost their home, their business, and their cars, but they are quick to say they still have each other and a glimmer of something else.

"It's hope," said Meadow. "It gives us grounding to make the next steps because the little things are so hard to do right now."

They can do hard things, and they know that a lot of people are helping on that long road to recovery.

"It's an energy you can just feel," said Meadow. "It's like you're getting a hug. Literally, the entire state of Colorado has just been amazing."

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.