DENVER — The Denver Public Schools (DPS) transportation department will deliver school supplies on Thursday to students and families who were displaced by a devastating recent wildfire.
The Waldo Canyon fire, the most destructive in Colorado state history, started June 23 near Colorado Springs, killing two people and destroying nearly 350 homes.
With the first day of school for many in Colorado Springs on Aug. 20, Nicole Portee, executive director of DPS transportation services, identified an opportunity to alleviate the burden on impacted families to purchase school supplies.
“Students that start school without the basic supplies needed are placed at a major disadvantage,” Portee said. “I’m proud to be part of an organization, and live in a community, that together united to rally around the needs of these students. We want families to be able to allocate efforts and finances to other areas of need.”
The generosity overflowed from DPS employees, who donated supplies across five district drop-off locations.
The community echoed the contributions, as DPS transportation collected supplies as a vendor at the 2nd Annual Fitness on the Rocks at Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre in Golden. The event brought together some of Colorado's largest fitness organizations, with a cadre of their most experienced personal trainers, to lead more than 4,000 attendees through a workout experience.
Also, Pamela Montoya, a Banana Republic general manager, read about the school supply drive in the newspaper and organized a shipment of more than 40 boxes filled with supplies to DPS transportation. Retail locations across the Midwest region contributed to the effort.
Portee cited the ability of districts to collaborate in times of need as a driving force in the initiative.
“I’m confident that districts across Colorado would have done the same for DPS if the roles were reversed,” she said.
Brandon Edelman is communications specialist for the DPS transportation department.