From Girl Scout Alexa Huesgen Hobbs, Troop 1947
Recent headlines “The Waldo Canyon Fire has destroyed 346 homes and damaged more than two dozen others. Two people have been confirmed dead…” KRDO news said the destroyed homes in one neighborhood were worth $110 million and there were at least 22 burglaries and 16 car break-ins of victims at hotels.
With all that horrible news swirling around don’t you think that we deserve some of that good old-fashioned happy news? Well, what about people thanking the firefighters that are trying to stop the thing that’s causing the bad news? Following are some things that you can do, something that was just amazing and a project I did.
Drive around and you’ll see signs everywhere in Colorado Springs – from windows to stop signs and even highway overpasses – ranging from a few scrawled words on cardboard to machine-made and even signs that stretch from one lamp-post to another saying “THANK YOU!” Why don’t you try making some signs of gratitude for the firefighters too?
For inspiration check this out – amazing!
The firefighters fighting the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado receive thanks and applause during their return from fighting the fires: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LB4hxLCOQQ
Here is a little story about something I and my little sister, a Girl Scout Brownie (Zoe Huesgen Hobbs, Troop 863), did for the firefighters:
Recently, Couture Cupcakes made 65 dozen cupcakes for the firefighters, 911 dispatchers, Care and Share, all animal shelters taking evacuee pets for free and every organization which is helping with the fire for free, as a big thank you by “the Cupcake Lady” and owner, Joni McCoy. She does a lot of charity and loves giving back to the community and when her friends were evacuated and her sister almost lost her home, this was a no brainer – but she needed lots of help to do it.
Jodi designed Girl Scouts 100th Anniversary Cupcakes and generously gave them free to any troop that asked for them in March. My and my sister’s troop had a party with those yummy cupcakes so we felt it was only right for our troops to give back and help her and do something for the firefighters and volunteers.
I joined a group of volunteers who came together through Facebook or news stories about the effort. We shaped fondant into hats, axes, hoses and fire hydrants – all designed by Joni – to be put on red or yellow iced cupcakes.
It was fun BUT the best part though was coming with 74 cupcakes in my mom’s car’s trunk. We drove to five different fire stations and gave them each a box of cupcakes. The first one we went to Station 6, which had firefighters from Golden covering for the local firefighters that were usually there, but at the moment were up at the fire. They were so welcoming and showed us around their truck and let us try the sound blocking head phones and the different hoses as well as gave us a fire safety lecture about our home.
Then we went over to the Station No. 2, the Old North End’s fire station that covers my home and school. It had firefighters from Arvada No. 8 also covering for the local crew that was usually there but at the moment were up at the fire. They were working a 72 hour shift so they had a kitchen, a room with fluffy recliners positioned around a TV, an exercise room with even more TVs, and a big dorm like room with beds for when they wanted to sleep. I also got a tour of their firetruck except this one was only six months old and it is one of the newest firetrucks in all of Colorado. These trucks are expensive so that is why fire stations loan them out and help fight fires in other places.
Next we went to the other station downtown, No. 1, which had the local crew that had been in the thick of the fire on Tuesday. They explained how heartbreaking it was to have to decide which houses to save or not because of the intensity and speed of the fire. Also, how there were so many firefighters posted in a line along Hwy. 24 to beat back any flames that tried to come down the hill there. They showed us their firetruck and were especially grateful for the cupcakes.
Then we went to fire station 16 at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain that was manned by a crew from Stratmoor Hills while the locals were fighting the fire. This one had one of those poles from the bedrooms to the downstairs and three firefighters slid down it for us. They also turned on their sirens – it was really loud! Coincidentally, my school principal was there with her granddaughter delivering brownies!
Then I went to Cheyenne Mountain High School that was a Red Cross shelter for evacuees and their pets. We delivered our cupcakes to the dedicated volunteers who were caring for the evacuated pets. On the ground were chalk drawings. One especially caught my eye: it said “Wait for the Miracle.” Then we headed inside the gym to see if we could be of help. There were rows and rows of cots with a few bags underneath. I saw a girl sitting on a cot with a dog crying. I felt really bad for her – I hope her house didn’t burn down.
After that, we visited our last fire station near the High School. The local crew was there and as specialists in trail fires and rock climbing rescues they had to stay and could not go out to the fire. They had several dirt bikes and a rock climbing wall. They said people were coming by all the time with food and things and they were so grateful. If it was something the guys on the front would enjoy, they got it out there, such as buckets of Popeye’s Chicken someone brought by. (My ice skating coach is married to a firefighter, and she said one day her husband’s crew had only bread and a piece of lunch meat for lunch – they were pretty disappointed! But this isn’t always the case of course.)
The deliveries took about six hours because the firefighters were so friendly, grateful and excited to show us their stations. When all our deliveries were done, I learned that my evacuated aunt and her family could go back to their house. I am so happy the fire is going away!
Show the firefighters your thanks! Make cards and baked goods, give a hug (they fought hard and take it personally they couldn’t save all the homes), or show your support during the shift change (7 a.m. or 7 p.m.) and join the crowds at Fontanero and 31st Street.
Thanks for reading!!