As fires continue to break out in severe drought-weathered areas throughout the West, V.I.P. Mortgage Inc.’s corporate office is taking time to honor and support the victims of these devastating wild fires through fundraisers. In June, employees of V.I.P.’s Colorado Springs, Colo. branch raised $13,250 to help locals of the Black Forest fire, which burned more than 14,000 acres and destroyed nearly 500 homes. Many of the victims did not have insurance on their homes or businesses.
“A bit of hope has been restored in their lives from these funds,” said Tom Huxtable, a V.I.P. mortgage banker who is running the committee for Black Forest Community Church to disperse the funds to those who need the support most. “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.”
V.I.P.’s corporate office recently hosted an employee breakfast for those wishing to donate to victims of the Yarnell Hill fire, which scorched 8,400 acres and cost 19 firemen their lives while battling the blaze just south of Prescott, Ariz. on June 30. For every dollar raised, corporate matched, for a total of $11,334.
“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.”