Colorado Springs veteran groups partner together to help Marshall Fire victims

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COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado has become all too familiar with tragedies and natural disasters, which is why Colorado Springs veteran organizations said they are coming together to help those affected by the Marshall Fire.

Veteran organizations going through all the donations. Credit: Rachel Saurer

“Everyone was posting videos and pictures of the uncertainty: ‘is my house going to be there tomorrow?'” Said Jacqueline Hemhauser, co-owner of Disgruntled Vets. “And it broke my heart. So, when I went home I showed my husband and we looked at each other and we knew he had to do something.”

It first began with a fundraiser to simply raise money to get supplies for victims of the fire.

The groups said they were blown away by the support from the community. Credit: Rachel Saurer

“We started an online fundraiser within the veteran community and we’re at almost ten thousand dollars worth of donations,” said Christopher Ruble, assistant program director for 22 Until None. “My organization, we kind of started it off by donating twenty-six hundred dollars worth of goods and it’s ballooned from there.”

They used the money earned from the fundraiser to buy necessities off of Amazon such as toiletries and diapers, but this didn’t account for the pouring in of goods dropped off by the community.

Water and boxes are some of the more highly requested donations by the organizations. Credit: Rachel Saurer

“We’ve done kind of donation drives before but this is by far the biggest that we’ve accomplished. Just to see Colorado come together for our people is really, really cool,” Hemhauser said.

And the response was overwhelming.

“We were thinking… some blankets, some household goods, dog food… we were thinking a truckload of stuff… the outpouring we have seen from the community. We’re looking at a U-Haul truck now,” Ruble said.

Greg Bel, President of the Enlisted Association Local Chapter I, said this is a perfect representation of their community.

The groups said the amazing outpouring from the community is a perfect representation of vets and of Colorado Springs. Credit: Rachel Saurer

“We’ve all experienced the effects of these events, these natural disasters, and it’s time for us to naturally stand up and that’s what veterans do and that’s what people in Colorado Springs do.”

With so many donations pouring in, Boulder County officials asked people to not donate any more perishable food — instead they are asking for things like water and toiletries. The veteran organizations also said they need boxes to transport the goods in.

The Enlisted Chapter building off of Academy Blvd. will be receiving donations every afternoon until Wednesday at their two locations:

TREA Chapter 1

3065 S Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80916

VFW Post 6461

753 S Santa Fe Ave, Fountain, CO 80817

More information can be found on the Disgruntled Vets Facebook page.

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