The Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah holidays will fall amid the fifth- and sixth-month anniversaries of the Waldo Canyon firestorm that destroyed hundreds of homes in Colorado Springs.
For affected families that means that the winter holidays and their traditions will be devoid of the family heirlooms or prized possessions that decorated their homes. Over the next two months, several faith-based and non-profit organizations will host donation drives or craft fairs, or give free holiday decorations to families who lost possesions in the fire.
For Wilson United Methodist church Pastor Dave Hiester, this winter is the “season of hope,” and the re-birth of Mountain Shadows. Hiester hopes to add to the neighborhood rebuilding projects yet another symbol of hope and light — a 30 foot tree that will be planted this month.
Here are some ways to help, and events to attend:
• Saturday: Waldo Canyon Fire Giveaway for those who lost homes or possesions, 9 a.m. to noon at Front Range Alliance Church, 5210 Centennial Blvd. Residents must have identification to be admitted. Decorations, linens, trees, stockings, music, cookbooks, ornaments tableware, cookware and gifts will be available.
• Nov. 5-9: Holmes Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society is sponsoring a “Brighten the Holidays” drive for people displaced by the fire. Holiday decorations, wrapping paper, wreaths, menorahs, candles and tree lights can be dropped off 7:45-8:30 a.m. at the school cafeteria, 2455 Mesa Road. Holmes families who lost holiday decorations in the fire will be invited to select from the collection the week before Thanksgiving. Contact: Julie Lindeman, co-advisor, at 328-3817.
• Nov. 9: Christmas Comfort and Joy for Waldo Canyon fire victims who lost their homes, 5:30-8:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 219 E. Bijou St. Christmas trees and wreaths will be given away; live music.
• Nov. 30: Pikes Peak Region artists have donated art to the Business of Art Center in Manitou Springs for “Art for a New Start,” an art show for Waldo Canyon fire victims to select artwork for their new homes. The show is 6-9 p.m. at 513 Manitou Ave. Additional pick-up times are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Dec. 1 and 2.
• Nov. 30: Lighting of the Mountain Shadows tree, organized by Wilson United Methodist Church and Colorado Springs Together, 7 p.m. at the church, at 6460 Flying W Ranch Road. Free ornaments for those who lost homes in the fire.
• Dec. 9: Caroling Blitz through Mountain Shadows organized by Wilson UMC. Carolers should meet at 7 p.m. at the church, 6460 Flying W Ranch Road. Caroling groups should contact the church for song sheets, 598-0407.