Colorado Charities Prepare For Irma’s Impact

DENVER (CBS4) – The relief effort for victims of Hurricane Harvey has been overwhelming. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been donated to help the victims in Houston.

As Hurricane Irma inches closer to Florida, many Coloradans are wondering if that relief will run dry as “donation fatigue” sets in.

“Irma victims may come up on our radar soon, but right now were focusing on Harvey,” said Ruben Villarreal, lead pastor of ThornCreek Church.

(credit: CBS)

On Wednesday, Villareal wasn’t sure if he’d get enough donations to fill two trailers donated by American Furniture Warehouse to drive down to Houston. Now, he’s wondering if he’ll need another one. One trailer is full of furniture and appliances and the other is starting to fill up.

(credit: CBS)

“We chose to do something that was tangible,” Villareal said. “This is going to go into the homes of victims from hurricanes.”

The donation drive ends Sunday.

When ThornCreek Church started planning Harvey relief efforts, Hurricane Irma took a backseat. Now she’s a storm driving millions out of Florida.

The furniture in the trailers is still going to Texas, but Villareal says Irma won’t be ignored.

(credit: CBS)

“We have a sister church in Mobile (Alabama) who was inspired by what we’re doing and they’re planning to minister the families impacted by Irma,” explained Villarreal.

The American Red Cross has received thousands of volunteer applications to assist with Harvey, but they say reserving relief is key.

“We had 46 from the Colorado-Wyoming region that went down to Harvey. We also reserved some of our people, some of our vehicles and some of our logistics,” said Ed O’Brien of the American Red Cross.

O’Brien already has 60 volunteers preparing for Irma’s impact, and enough supplies for 120,000 people.

CBS4’s Tori Mason interviews Ed O’Brien. (credit: CBS)

Monetary donations keep Red Cross running, but O’Brien says anything you can contribute counts.

“Whatever you can give. Your time, your money, your prayers. We’ll take it,” said O’Brien.

Additional Resources

To donate to Red Cross hurricane relief visit www.redcross.org/donate/hurricane-irma-donations.

ThornCreek Church in Thornton is accepting gently used furniture and working appliances. They’re sending volunteers to Houston next week to help with cleanup and meal delivery, so cleaning supplies, food, water and monetary donations are also encouraged. You can bring donations to Thorncreek Church’s future location, 14031 Washington St., Thornton, from 8 a.m to 8 p.m through Sunday.

Tori Mason is an award-winning reporter for CBS4 This Morning. Follow her on Twitter @ToriMasonTV.

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