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Organizations across Colorado Springs rally to help Hurricane Harvey victims

August 31, 2017 Updated: September 1, 2017 at 9:33 am
Caption +
Sam Speights tries to hold back tears while holding his dogs and surveying the damage to his home in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Sunday, Aug. 27, 2017, in Rockport, Texas. Speights tried to stay in his home during the storm but had to move to other shelter after he lost his roof and back wall. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

As the Gulf Coast struggles with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, organizations across Colorado Springs are stepping up to provide relief from the historic disaster.

El Pomar Foundation has allocated $100,000 to six Colorado-based nonprofit organizations, including $60,000 to the American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado from foundation funds and $5,000 from the trustees and employees.

The Red Cross's southeastern Colorado chapter has deployed 43 staff members and volunteers to Dallas, Houston and Louisiana. The money will pay for transportation and services for displaced residents.

El Pomar Foundation also is giving $20,000 to Bonfils Blood Center Foundation to ensure that lifesaving plasma is available, plus $5,000 each to Code 3 Associates, which does search-and-rescue operations for animals; Denver Dumb Friends League, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region; and Shield 616, a nonprofit that provides police with needed gear.

"The Trustees will help ensure our local organizations can support national efforts as well as continue to provide support at home should the need arise," said William J. Hybl, chairman and CEO of El Pomar Foundation.

U.S. Northern Command in Colorado Springs is making one of the Pikes Peak region's biggest on-the-ground contributions to Hurricane Harvey relief.

In addition to more than a dozen Fort Carson logistics experts, the command has sent 6,300 active-duty troops. With 73 helicopters, it has overseen the rescues of 1,200 people from flooded areas.

Northern Command provides Pentagon support to local authorities dealing with domestic disasters. That support has included shipping 650,000 gallons of fuel to the hurricane zone and 100 military trucks to haul relief workers through flooded areas.

Colorado Springs firefighters were also quick to travel to the Gulf Coast. Last week, before the storm hit, a Colorado Springs firefighter drove to Katy, just west of Houston, with heavy equipment, Task Force 1 spokesman Rod Tyus said.

Seven other local firefighters have followed with the Urban Search and Rescue team, which has 30 members from 14 fire agencies, including Denver, Aurora and Castle Rock.

And the El Paso County Sheriff's Office and Shield 616 were collecting donations Thursday and Friday for first responders in Houston.

Other donors include:

◘ United Way, which has raised more than $7.2 million through its United Way of Great Houston Relief Fund.

◘ The Sky Sox, which will raffle off items in Saturday's game as part of a Hope For Houston fundraiser in conjunction with Pikes Peak United Way.

◘ Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, who will sell special-edition jerseys to help the Hurricane Harvey relief effort through the American Red Cross and donate $1 from every Budweiser, Bud Light and hot dog sold at that game against Phoenix.

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