Donate a Day: Our Neighbors Need Us. Now. Desperately.

On a warm Colorado evening last summer, I attended a unique and delightful dinner party in Boulder. Once we’d eaten and the sun had gone down behind the mountains, Marj, the host and my wife’s friend, set up a projector and a large screen in her backyard. The backyard was one of those idyllic places with lush grass, and a big tree with a swing, surrounded on all sides by carefully maintained, overflowing vegetable gardens. Once the projector was up and running, everyone in attendance shared pictures of international trips they’d been on. In an hour or so, we got to see the world from that backyard in Boulder.

What I didn’t realize at the time, was that Marj’s house is likely sitting on a giant alluvial fan that has emptied Boulder Canyon for millenia. Last week, as 15 inches of rain fell on Boulder and in the mountains above, Boulder Creek became such a raging torrent that much of Boulder was reduced to one gigantic outwash plain — including Marj’s house. Her garden was washed away, cars were swamped on her street, producing 10 foot standing waves, and her basement filled with 10 feet of water. When the waters receded, all the windows were smashed and 4 feet of mud remained. Marj was told it will be weeks before she can get any help from the government or aid organizations.

Marj's yard, now filled with mud and drywall from her basement
Marj’s yard, now filled with mud and drywall from her basement

Marj and thousands of our neighbors need us. Now.

At CaptainU, we’ve decided to make this Friday, September 20th, an optional work day. Folks who want to help people like Marj are entitled and encouraged to take the day to trade in their MacBooks for shovels and crowbars.

We’re encouraging every startup and Front Range business to do the same.

Please consider giving your team the day to help their neighbors. If you’re in, please fill out this form and add your company to the list. If your home has been affected by the flood, please fill out this sheet and we’ll try to send some volunteers your way.

A few things to note: this is a completely optional, volunteer effort that is largely uncoordinated. We will try to connect volunteers with people who need help. Everyone should also be aware that this work is going to be hard and messy in some pretty rough and tumble conditions. I’d strongly encourage you to read over the flood damage recovery handbook the Red Cross sent me today.

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