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Facebook group aims to meet needs of Marshall Fire victims through wish lists

Marshall Fire destruction
Posted at 8:41 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 10:41:52-05

GOLDEN, Colo. — A Facebook group of volunteers wanting to help Marshall Fire victims is making an impact by compiling "wildfire wish lists."

When everything you own goes up in flames, the little things add up fast.

"If you imagine all the things that you've purchased over the years or gotten as gifts, and how expensive all that actually is when you're going to re-buy it all at one time, it's awful," said Rose Green.

Green, her husband and a roommate were renting a home in Superior's Sagamore neighborhood when it was destroyed by the Marshall Fire.

"If you've been to the area, you see it looks almost like a war zone. It's just crazy," she said.

Green says the most difficult loss has been her cat, Clementine.

"One day at a time, you know, some days are better than other days, especially with our missing cat," said Green. "We find ourselves crying most days."

On this day, a special delivery is making her one-day-at-a-time mantra a little easier, thanks to a Facebook group of total strangers.

"What we see is our hearts are big, and we can give," said Meryl Suissa, administrator of the Boulder Fire and Surrounding Areas Victims Distribution Page. "And when we do, it heals us as well as healing them."

Suissa, a local physicians assistant and mother, launched the grass-roots group to find out what fire victims need and get it to them directly.

"Instead of giving them what we had, we asked them what they needed," she said. "And they told us what they truly needed, from remaking an Afghan blanket to finding Calico critter toys."

One by one, Suissa verifies each victim's name and address. She has compiled a public spreadsheet of dozens of wildfire victims, along with their Amazon and Walmart wish lists.

"We're giving people their items," Suissa said. "Their specific work boots for a family that needs to return to his job, kitchen items that bring them joy, one family wants all green, this woman loves green."

It's the start of what she calls a giving email movement.

The group is encouraging people to share the spreadsheet of wish lists. Already, the Facebook group found a company to donate standing desks to Green.

"They're actually nicer than the ones I used to own," Green said with a smile.

She had renter's insurance but says it does not even come close to covering everything they lost. Her Amazon wish list includes everything from sewing supplies to a rice cooker.

"I wanted to have a variety of things so that people who can't afford to buy something, you know, super expensive, like $1,000 pot and pan set, you know, can buy a little set of magnets for us, it'll just make us smile," said Green. "It would mean so much to help us in our journey, with our limited funds and our bad insurance pay-out to have some of those things replaced."

If you would like to help fire victims check off their wish lists, view the spreadsheet here.