Local Resident Collecting Hand-knits for Black Forest Fire Victims

Staff Report

Tina Derr of Los Alamos is coordinating a service project to collect hand-made hats, gloves, mittens and scarves for the fire survivors in the Black Forest region destroyed by fire this summer. The Black Forest is in the northern part of Colorado Springs, a part of El Paso County.

“I am hoping people will either sew, knit or crochet enough for each person to get one item but if miracles happen, maybe more,” Derr said.

Derr lost her own home in the Cerro Grande Fire in 2000.

An exact number of homes destroyed or partial loss has still not been nailed down because many were unincorporated and were off the radar, but best numbers are close to 500, Derr said. It is known that 218 were uninsured.  

An estimated 750 adults were affected by the fire, Derr said. A school drive had 185 children registered needing back packs and school supplies. This did not include infants and toddlers.

“With this partial information, at least 1,000 people have been affected, with 218 of these homes having no insurance,” Derr said. “I have spoken with multiple contacts at El Paso County and they are thrilled to have us do this. They have connected me with “Crosses 4 Losses”, a non-profit that is serving these people, particularly the uninsured.”

Derr has contacted people who have a business in Los Alamos, Espanola, Santa Fe and Taos to partner in this effort. Business owners are invited to call 505-672-9137 or 505-412-2074 to serve as collection points.

“All the collection locations teach classes, have supplies or are involved in multiple community service projects,” Derr said. “I am hoping churches, sewing groups, senior centers and civic organizations will become involved as well, and drop off items at a local collection spot.” 
Currently, collection points include:

  • Warm Hearts Yarn, White Rock, contact Katie Brousseau, 505-672-2008
  • Village Arts & Framing, Los Alamos, contact Ken Nebel, 505-661-2526
  • Yarn & Coffee, 1836-B Cerrillos, Santa Fe, contact Deborah Grossman, 505-780-5030
  • Moxie, 218-A Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos, contact Katie Thomas, 575-758-1241
“We have all been affected by fire in one way or another and I would like to have us come together to help in some way this winter,” Derr said. “I will plan to pick up items no later than Dec. 15, possibly by Dec. 12.”
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