Thursday will be the first Thanksgiving Marshall fire victims will celebrate since the blaze destroyed around 1,000 homes last December. To make their holiday a bit easier, volunteers distributed food to those in need.
The turkey giveaway was sponsored by national hunger relief organization Conscious Alliance on Tuesday.
Volunteers distributed 200 turkeys and side dishes to a parade of vehicles at the Conscious Alliance National Distribution Center in Broomfield.
“We had a lot of different sponsors and people step up,” Conscious Alliance Logistics Director BJ Cochran said. “The needs are still real.”
Concurring with that view was Louisville resident John Mickel who lost his home and personal possessions during the historic fire.
“We’re a year later and these people are getting me through Thanksgiving,” he said. “This community is the reason I moved to Colorado from Florida.”
Holding back tears, Mickel recalled relocating from his native state after Hurricane Andrew destroyed his residence in Aug. 1992.
“This is the second house I lost,” he said.
In the immediate aftermath of the Marshall fire Conscious Alliance forged a partnership with Fortnight Collective to launch the WE GOT THIS initiative, which includes a coalition of over 50 Colorado and national businesses.
“We started doing stuff on the ground immediately with the community and then we've just continued throughout the year,” Cochran said.
olunteers from Justin’s, Bobo's, Wholesome Sweeteners, Noodles and Company and Yasso handed out food.
Jeff Gross with Yasso, was amazed at the stockpile of turkeys and food stuffs stockpiled for fire victims.
“It’s cool that the company gives us the opportunity to come out and give back to the community a little bit,” Gross said.
Yasso cohort Gayla Kokai said despite the abundance of supplies volunteers quickly organized items for distribution.
“The assembly line got on a roll and the next thing you know we were filling up all the bags,” she said.
In addition to families impacted by the Marshall fire, local educators were also included in the outreach.
Shelley Jicha, with the Broomfield Early Childhood Council, stopped by the Conscious Alliance headquarters on Tuesday to thank organizers for providing Thanksgiving meal items for childcare teachers.
“We are so appreciative of Conscious Alliance,” she said. “It really meant a lot to our teachers.”
During the past year, besides material comforts, lending moral support has been a key element to help families in the midst of rebuilding their lives, Cochran said.
“There's a big mental part of it that goes with the whole thing,” he said.
For his part, Mickel expressed amazement at the deluge of strangers who have continued to lend aid for fire victims this year.
“I’ve had outreach help from so many people, it’s just crazy,” he said. “I have a deep, deep love for these people for helping people they don’t even know.”