The UUA Mountain Desert District (MDD) has established an Emergency Relief Fund, standing in solidarity with all who have experienced the devastation of the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, where at least two UU families have lost their homes; the High Park fire in Ft. Collins, the Flagstaff fire in Boulder, the Pine Ridge fire in Grand Junction, the Lightner Creek/Weber fire in Durango and other fires burning in Montana at this time. The District is posting updates to the MDD Facebook Page as news is received.
This Fund will allow the District to offer timely financial assistance to Unitarian Universalist communities as they begin to recover and rebuild following the fires. The Rev. Nancy Bowen, UUA District Executive in Mountain Desert, noted, “Informed by other districts where fires have raged we know there can be serious secondary impact from a fire – smoke damage, health problems, loss of employment, etc. Even with good insurance many families will incur unexpected costs due to the fires.”
PNWD congregations are encouraged to take up a collection for our UU neighbors this Sunday, or as soon as it can be scheduled. Individual UUs are also encouraged to respond. Please make checks payable to MDD Emergency Relief, and mail to the UUA Mountain Desert District, 2242 South Albion St., Denver, CO 80222.
Rev. Bowen reflects, “As we pray for containment of these wild fires we recognize the continued vulnerability of these communities to flash flooding and other natural disasters heightened by the fires. This fund will become a continuing source of assistance across the mountain west.” Rev. Bowen hopes that MDD congregations and others will consider an annual contribution to the Relief Fund so that MDD will always be ready to help with similar emergencies whenever they arise.
The Mountain Desert District Board will appoint a small task force to make awards from the fund. Procedures for applying for help will be available on the MDD website very soon.
The Mountain Desert District will be able to receive PayPal contributions on the MDD website within the week, by which time District leaders expect to have a better understanding of the kind of needs the fund can best meet.