Scottsdale, Ariz.-based V.I.P. Mortgage Inc. has raised $13,250 to help victims of the Black Forest fire, which burned more than 14,000 acres and destroyed nearly 500 homes in Colorado and Arizona.
Tom Huxtable, a V.I.P. mortgage banker who is running the committee for Black Forest Community Church to disperse the funds, said the effort has helped restore hope to those who have been impacted by the fire.
"These funds are hard for them to accept, but when you hand them a check to buy food and line up new housing, we are truly helping to change lives,’ Huxtable said in a release.
The company also raised $11,334 during a recent employee breakfast that will be donated to victims of the Yarnell Hill fire, which scorched 8,400 acres and cost 19 firemen their lives. The company matched every dollar donated.
"These 19 men will go down in history as heroes, and while we all try to make sense of this senseless tragedy, this is one small thing we can do to show our gratitude and respect," said Jay Barbour, president of V.I.P. "As the deadliest single day for U.S. firefighters – only second to 9/11 – our thoughts and prayers remain with those closest to the firefighters as they move forward without their loved ones. Our mission now is to spread the message of humanity."