Colorado is ablaze. Hundreds of people have lost their homes, and thousands more wait patiently in shelters with courage and hope that their lives will soon return to normal. It is one thing to see the news on television or read about it in the paper, but when you look outside your window and see a billowing plume of smoke fill the sky the significance of it all becomes very clear.
If having only 15 minutes to gather up your precious objects and irreplaceable items isn’t dreadful enough, hearing the news that your house is no longer standing has got to be the most devastating reality check ever. I would not wish this on anyone, and it breaks my heart to learn about the many who will have to start over and work very hard at putting their lives back together.
But, even with this terrible fire season in my home state, what never ceases to amaze me after any natural disaster is the astonishing resilience of the human spirit. Where do we find the hope and optimism in such a stressful time full of chaos and despair? Last night on the news, a reporter interviewed a man who had just found out his house burned to the ground. Instead of getting angry, feeling victimized, or hopeless, he just said, “Well, time to move on, I guess.”
Some people will have no other choice but to move on and they will need a lot of help and even more encouragement to do so. What can you do to help? For starters, visit RedCross.org and find Colorado’s state chapter of the American Red Cross. Learn about the opportunities to volunteer, make a donation, or be of service in another way. You can even take preventative measures and contribute in your own state in the event something dreadful happens in your area.
Summer is not over and the potential for more wildfires in the southwest is extremely high, so care needs to be taken on all levels. While some wildfires are acts of nature, most are human caused. For more information about how you can prevent forest fires, visit with the iconic Smokey the Bear at SmokeyBear.com.
June 28th, 2012