This is one of a series of stories about the nonprofit agencies that receive money from The Gazette/El Pomar Foundation Empty Stocking campaign that runs through the holidays.
In June, Vicki fled the Black Forest fire from her uninsured trailer with just the shirt on her back, never to see her home again.
Now six months later, the 59-year-old is living in a new trailer surrounded by the comforts of a well-furnished home, triumphantly getting by, thanks to the help of the Marian House and Catholic Charities.
"It's been totally awesome," said Vicki, whose full name is being withheld to protect her privacy. "It's just a blessing from God. They are there to help no matter what."
The Marian House, as part of the Catholic Charities of Southern Colorado, serves the elderly, the disabled, the working poor and the homeless by providing people like Vicki with food, gas, clothing and other emergency services in times of need. The organization came to the aid of many after wildfire crippled the Black Forest community last summer.
When flames came roaring toward Vicki's home on Rusk Lane - which authorities said was one of the most-effected areas of Black Forest - it took with it all of Vicki's belongings. As she ushered her many cats and dogs out the door with flames creeping up on her, Vicki said, her future looked grim.
"It was just very scary to lose everything," she said. "I don't know how to explain how I felt. It was just a feeling you never want to have, ever."
But now, having moved back to the forest about a month ago, Vicki feels things are going to be OK. The aid provided by Catholic Charities put food on her table, helped clear debris from her charred lot and made relocating that much easier.
"I would never be this far if it wasn't for them," Vicki said of Catholic Charities.
Make a secure donation at www.fillanemptystocking.org. Call 476-1673 to make a credit card or stock donation. Make check payable to the Empty Stocking Fund and mail to P.O. Box 910942, Denver, CO 80291-0942. Like us on Facebook at EmptyStockingFund or follow us on Twitter @esfsprings.