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Marshall Fire recovery: Follow the uplifting stories of victims helped by Denver7 Gives Wildfire Fund

Posted: 10:04 PM, Jan 05, 2022
Updated: 2022-01-13 12:50:38-05
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When Denver7 Gives launched our Wildfire Relief Fund, our viewers answered the call. As of Thursday, over $550,000 has been generously donated to the fund. We promise every dollar will go directly to help people who have lost everything. While victims navigate long-term resources and prepare for a long recovery, the Denver7 Gives Wildfire Fund is helping to meet their immediate needs.

It's not too late to help your neighbors in Boulder County as they recover from the Marshall Fires. Donate here.

Read more about the campaign.

Follow along as we share the stories of Coloradans helped through the Denver7 Gives Wildfire Fund.

Denver7 Gives provides storage for Superior family following Marshall Fire

Denver7 Gives provides storage for Superior family following Marshall Fire

SUPERIOR, Colo. - The Marshall Fire destroyed Roberto and Vannessa Camacho's home one week after they closed on the house. Since then, the family says they've been overwhelmed with support from the community.

“Someone from work that we don’t know let us stay in their apartment,” Roberto Camacho said.

The family says the community has also given them a lot of donations.

“They gave us a lot of toys for our son, Matias, clothes, boots. … Everyone has been so great to us,” Vanessa Camacho said.

Vanessa and Roberto said they are so grateful for the donations, but don’t have anywhere to store the items in their temporary home.

“We were like, 'You know, where do we put this? We are not at our house,'” Roberto said.

With donations from the Denver7 Gives Wildfire Relief Fund, Denver7 rented a storage unit for the Camacho family to use as long as they need it.

“We really appreciate all of the things we’ve received," Roberto said. "This will be very helpful right now… for us to move forward with our lives."

Donations also helped pay for movers to move the donations from the Camacho family’s temporary home to the storage unit.

Vanessa and Roberto said their 7-year-old son Matias has had a hard time understanding that their house is gone. They used his favorite movie, Disney’s "Encanto," to explain.

“In the movie, the house crumbles, and that was kind of my way of explaining it to him, that even though our house is gone, we can rebuild it,” the father said.

While Vanessa and Roberto focus on rebuilding, donations gave Matias a toy version of his favorite home, Casa Madrigal, the main focus of the "Encanto" movie.

The Camachos said it’s hard to express their gratitude, but they are so thankful for every person that’s donated to the victims of the Marshall Fire.

Denver7 Gives: Girl fills backpacks with toys for children who lost everything in Marshall Fire

Denver7 Gives: Girl fills backpacks with toys for children who lost everything in Marshall Fire

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — After the Marshall Fire in Boulder County, Denver7 Gives started a Wildfire Relief Fund to help people impacted by the tragedy.

A little of that money was spent executing a young girl's idea.

Marian Cole said she was shopping with her daughter Farrah on January 3 when Farrah began putting toys into their shopping cart. At first, Marian did not know why her six-year-old daughter was doing this.

“Can we get them? And I said, oh no, we can't. We just had Christmas. And we don't need that. But then she was like, it's not for me. It's for those kids that lost everything. And I couldn't say no," explained Marian.

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Marian and Farrah started shopping for the children who lost their homes in the Marshall Fire. The duo began by filling six backpacks with toys selected by Farrah.

“We have these very rare teachable moments, where you just are given the opportunity to let your kid show their compassion," said Marian.

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

Marian made a post on their neighborhood website, encouraging others to participate in "Farrah's Challenge" and fill a backpack. She was shocked by the outpouring of support for the idea.

"I posted in the evening, and by the next morning, a ton of people had shown interest in it. And she had raised $296... We've probably packed 45 backpacks. And we've, I think, we've exhausted all of the donations, but people keep asking if we need more. And it's overwhelming, because what I thought was just going to be an extra 10 minutes on a Dollar Tree trip has turned into a week long process. We pack a couple a night," Marian said.

On Sunday, Denver7 Gives took part in "Farrah's Challenge" and went shopping for toys at the Walmart in Castle Rock. Walmart wanted to help too, and donated six backpacks to Farrah's mission, which is the same amount that Farrah initially packed.

The Salvation Army donated 20 backpacks filled with school supplies to "Farrah's Challenge." The Salvation Army is Denver7's annual partner during the Pack A Backpack school supply drive in July.

If you know a family who would benefit from a backpack, email Colette.Bordelon@TheDenverChannel.com.

Denver7 Gives, community members help engaged couple with wedding items lost to Marshall Fire

Denver7 Gives, community members help engaged couple with wedding items lost to Marshall Fire

LOUISVILLE, Colo. — Jamie Laughner and Max Petersen were planning the best day of their lives when their worst day happened.

“We were on the front line of the fire while the winds were still high,” Max said.

The couple’s home in Louisville was destroyed by the Marshall Fire. They escaped with their two dogs, but not much else.

“Everything,” Jamie said. “All the stuff we had for our wedding as well.”

The pair were planning to get married in March.

“My veil, my shoes, all the decorations. Everything we had bought and accumulated unfortunately were lost,” Jamie said.

Luckily for her, her wedding dress happened to be at her seamstress's ahead of an upcoming fitting. Jamie then turned to Facebook for help, posting a photo of herself in that dress, asking for a place to replace her veil.

“The response has been more than I could ever imagine. People offering veils, decorations, shoes, wedding rings,” Jamie explained. “Anything you could think of for our wedding, they were like ‘can I help out?’”

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

Through that post, she’s already been given a pair of shoes to wear while walking down the aisle. At last check, 134 people have commented.

“This is one of those silver linings. The outpouring of support to help make our wedding day what we wanted it to be in the first place,” she said.

And with funds raised through Denver7 Gives, the balance for Jamie’s dress alterations was taken care of (seamstress Patty Elliot is also donating the cost of bustling the dress) and the couple was given a Target gift card to pay for dishes and towels for their new apartment.

“It warms the bottom of my heart that there are such kind people out here during this experience that we're going through,” she said.

The couple’s wedding is still planned for mid-March.

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.

Denver7 Gives helps Hacker family replace computer, tablet

Denver7 Gives helps Hacker family replace computer, tablet

For three generations, the Hacker family has lived on this land in Old Town Superior.

"That used to be our master bathroom," said Caroline Hacker, surveying what is left of their home and their father-in-law's home. "It's just so devastated. Everything is so gone."

The fireplace built by Courtland Hacker's grandfather is one of the only things left standing after the Marshall Fire tore through their property.

Their family home was destroyed during the 2013 floods and completely rebuilt.

"I can't imaging going through another disaster," said Caroline. "Really, it's been one day at a time."

Generous donations from Denver7 Gives viewers are making one day at a time a little easier on this day. All of the family's electronics, their computer, tablet and phone chargers, burned in the fire.

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Generous donations from Denver7 Gives viewers are making one day at a time a little easier on this day. All of the family's electronics, their computer, tablet and phone chargers, burned in the fire.

"When I was told you need to leave now, I was thinking, 'What do I need for the next couple hours of my life?'" Caroline remembered."Not, 'What do I need to get for the rest of my life?'"

Not having electronic devices has made it challenging to fill out forms needed for insurance, federal assistance and work.

"These days, there's a lot you can do on an iPhone. But again, there's a lot of forms we have to fill out, but I was not able to do that through my phone," said Caroline. "So then I had to figure out who has a computer that I can use, and it's added a lot of work to the so much work we have already."

So Denver7 Gives took them shopping to lighten some of that load and bring back some sense of normality.

"The kid can't watch his favorite show before bed because we don't have our iPad," said Caroline. "Getting back to anything normal, you know, this is necessary, and it's just helpful."

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Their insurance won't come close to replacing their home and everything they lost inside.

Denver7 Gives also donated $200 in Amazon gift cards to help as they move into their new rental house on Monday. Caroline says she's making a mental list of things she'll need.

"A blender, a coffeemaker, plates and cups," she said. "Thank you so much. There's so many justifications to just give up right now. To have this opportunity to receive is really what's offering hope to move forward."

Moving forward with the support of their community and the strength that has kept them standing for generations, the Hackers are bracing themselves for what is next.

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"Thank you to all the viewers that donated," said Courtland Hacker. "The big question in my mind is, is everything going to be okay? And for you guys donating to us makes it feel a little bit more that it's gonna be okay."

To donate directly to the Hacker family, click here.

The family has also created an Amazon wish list with items they need, click here.

Denver7 Gives helps cousins who lost their homes in the Marshall Fire

Denver7 Gives helps cousins who lost their homes in the Marshall Fire

BROOMFIELD, Colo. — Saying that people who lived in the now-decimated Sagamore neighborhood are family is no exaggeration for Dana Stevens Kogler and Stephanie Clark.

"Well, we are cousins," said Stevens Kogler, who moved to Colorado three months ago to be closer to family, including Clark. "Our kids just walked through here to get to your house."

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Their homes were just a few blocks apart, and they both lost everything they owned in the Marshall Fire.

"Our neighborhood went up in flames in minutes," Clark said. "We were the warning for everyone else."

Both of their families barely made it out of their homes in time before their homes burned to the ground.

"It was literally the clothes on their back, and we lost everything, every memory," Stevens Kogler said.

They thought they would receive immediate FEMA housing assistance, but Clark was denied. In a message, the agency said that she was adequately insured. Clark says she has $10,000 in content coverage for a family of five.

"We don't have much, and so it's very devastating to just not even have any relief," Clark said. "No one's there to help you pick up the pieces."

That is where generous donations from Denver7 Gives viewers come in. We took the cousins shopping at Macy's to buy clothes for their sons, their husbands and themselves.

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Denver7 Gives also gave them two $250 Macy's gift cards to help when they move out of the hotel and into new apartments next week.

"People ask you, and they're so sweet, but they say, 'What do you need?' You need everything," said Clark, who knows the need will be long-term, but that in the short-term, everything helps.

"For a teenager, it's awkward to go to school and be like, 'Yeah, I'm wearing someone else's clothes or their hand-me-down.' It's just so, so special to be able to give them something that's just theirs, that's new."

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Click here to go directly to the Denver7 Gives Wildfire Fund donation form.

Denver7 Gives also gave them two $250 Macy's gift cards to help when they move out of the hotel and into new apartments next week.

"And I'm just so grateful because their gifts are making a difference in our lives, in the basic needs that we need right now," Stevens Kogler said. "I don't think anybody could possibly comprehend how important this is."

To donate directly to Stevens Kogler's GoFundMe, click here.

To donate directly to the Clark's GoFundMe, click here.

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.

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.

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Forced to flee from Marshall Fire, family has SUV, belongings stolen from Westminster hotel | Watch Denver7 viewers step in to help

Forced to flee from Marshall Fire, family has SUV, belongings stolen from Westminster hotel

Almost one week after losing their home in the Marshall Fire the Fazio family was dealt another huge blow.

Ryan and Nicole Fazio packed everything they could into their truck in order to evacuate their Superior home. The family had been staying at a hotel in Westminster since evacuating.

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Ryan and Nicole Fazio lost their home in the Marshall Fire fleeing with few possessions.

Tuesday morning when they went downstairs from their hotel room they noticed their car had been stolen. Some of the items packed away and gone with their stolen car included bags of clothes, blankets along with boxes of their family photos.

“We wouldn’t even care if they kept the car as long as they just drop the photos off somewhere because that is literally her entire life, we had all the photos and could only fit two boxes and now they are gone”

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On behalf of Denver7 Gives viewers reporter Ivan Rodriguez presents a Target gift card worth $500 to help the Fazio family.

While police search for their vehicle, the community is coming forward to help the family – including our own Denver7 viewers. Denver7 reporter Ivan Rodriguez was able to deliver some much-needed good news. “On behalf of our Denver7 Gives Wildfire Relief fund and our generous Denver7 Gives viewers we’d like to present you this Target gift card worth $500 to help you guys begin to move forward.”

“Thank you we really appreciate that, I really can’t tell you how much this means to us.” said Ryan.

“It makes all of this easier. You lose everything and these people are helping you bring stuff back and helping you get back on your feet.”

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Denver7 Gives viewers donated generously to the Wildfire Relief Fund to directly help those impacted by the Marshall Fire. As we take one family shopping at Target and hand out gift cards for neighbors in the Sagamore subdivision, this is just the beginning of fulfilling that promise.

Denver7 Gives helps Cullen family with needs after Marshall Fire | Donations buy gift cards for other Sagamore families

Denver7 Gives helps Cullen family with needs after Marshall Fire

The Cullen family lost everything they owned in the Marshall Fire last week. Their home was one of hundreds burned in Boulder County's Sagamore neighborhood.

"I ran out of the house without shoes on," said Kate Cullen, who was wearing donated shoes that were a size too small Tuesday. "The little things, you worry about the kids first and take care of yourself some other time."

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"I ran out of the house without shoes on," said Kate Cullen

On Thursday, they were shooting cell phone video of what they thought was a storm blowing into their backyard. By the time they realized the danger, the Cullens barely had time to load their twin 8-month-old boys and 3-year-old daughter into the car, leaving behind the car seats to make it out alive.

"I think the firefighters just didn't realize how fast it was moving at first," Kate Cullen said. "I was in the backseat. We don't, we didn't have car seats. We just had the bases, I'm sitting in the bases holding my babies and just their diapers and my 3-year-old screaming. We almost lost our lives. I really thought that I was going to lose my husband, you know, and myself and my babies in that, in that car."

The family made it out with their lives, but little else. On Tuesday, they met with their Sagamore neighbors, a community like family, and held a moment of silence.

For those who have lost so much, the response has been incredible.

"We have angels, basically, flying around us everywhere," said Bill Cullen, who used some of the money donated to his GoFundMe to buy gift cards for neighbors in need.

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Thanks to the donations of Denver7 Gives viewers, Denver7's Jaclyn Allen passed out $100 Target gift cards to help meet the immediate needs of five other Sagamore neighborhood families who met to grieve their loss.

Thanks to the donations of Denver7 Gives viewers, Denver7's Jaclyn Allen passed out $100 Target gift cards to help meet the immediate needs of five other Sagamore neighborhood families who met to grieve their loss.

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Click here to go directly to the Denver7 Gives Wildfire Fund donation form

Denver7 Gives also took the Cullen family on a shopping run to buy baby supplies for the twins, clothing and a couple of toys for their 3-year-old daughter who lost all her toys.

"For as much as we lost, we're just as much blessed," Kate Cullen said. "Thank you so much. I do watch the segment all the time, and it's always so touching. I usually find myself in tears. I just never thought that we'd be on the receiving end, and it just means the world. So, thank you all so much. Thank you so much."

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"For as much as we lost, we're just as much blessed," Kate Cullen said.

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.

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.