Canyon contributes to helping those impacted by the East-Troublesome fire.

A Q&A with Xander Sorensen ’21, who led the clothing drive.

Xander+Sorensen+%E2%80%9821+collects+donations+from+Rock+Canyon+students+for+those+who+lost+their+homes+in+the+East-Troublesome+Fire+Oct.22.+

photo by Xander Sorensen

Xander Sorensen ‘21 collects donations from Rock Canyon students for those who lost their homes in the East-Troublesome Fire Oct.22.

by Julia Blanchette, Managing Editor

Senior Xander Sorensen and other RC students helped to set up a clothing drive in Granby, CO, where families affected by the East-Troublesome fire could come and take what they needed to try to replace what they lost, especially with the winter coming up.

Q: Summarize the event: 

A: The East-Troublesome fire happened. I wanted to help. I organized so people in my local area would be able to donate old clothing that they had no longer wanted. This clothing we collected was going to be driven up to the families and individuals in the Granby area who had lost everything that they once had. After one night and a couple hours the following morning of gathering donations, we piled everything into four pickup trucks and drove up to Granby. We set up shop in a garage and invited people we knew, friends of friends, and others in need to come and take whatever they needed. This whole experience is another thing in my life that left me speechless. I have natural tendencies to help those who are less fortunate than I am and to see this whole event come full circle from start to end really meant a lot to me. In all that I do, I always try to put others before myself and do whatever I can to help others. 

Social media has grown to create a negative image of itself, but this time I was able to see the real power in social media and what it can do in good ways. I was also able to see that community unites one which is very important in the 2020 year that we are currently experiencing.

 

Q: What made this important to you? What’s your personal connection?

A: Growing up, I spent lots of time in the Winter Park – Granby area. I’ve spent hundreds of days skiing the mountain, skiing & snowmobiling in the backcountry, eating at the best restaurants, playing basketball at the rec center, golfing Grand Elk Golf Course, boating the lake. The second I found out that the East-Troublesome fire was rapidly spreading, my heart dropped. Memories, locations, experiences etc. that not only had meaning to me, but to everyone else in the area, were all disappearing. More importantly, families and individuals, who many were friends of mine or friends of friends, were watching their houses go up in flames. It was hard for me to just sit here and accept the fact that these people were going through something so unfortunate. I wanted to help. I figured that temperatures had started dropping meaning it was getting really cold again — which all of us in Colorado know what I mean when I say that — so the first thing that came to mind was to at least help out with getting clothes for these people temporarily. 

 

Q: How many donations did you collect, and how many Rock Canyon kids helped? 

A: Over the course of one night and a couple hours the following morning, we were able to nearly fill up a one-car garage. I had three friends help me with picking up clothing by reaching out to people in the Highlands Ranch area, asking if they had anything they would like to contribute. Izzy Holsman, Adrienne Markey, and a buddy of mine who goes to Regis, Will Bikulcius [helped]. Thank you to not only the Rock Canyon families who supported me, but everybody else as well. 

 

Q: Tell me what the drop-off process was like when you brought all the donations to the people in need.

A:For the drop off process, I went up with my mom. We had a couple of neighbors help us drive stuff up as well. There were four full trucks of clothing items, along with some children’s toys, too. Once we got up to Granby, we set the clothing up in somebody’s garage and invited families in need to come to our garage and take whatever they needed. We were able to work with the local police, too, and they helped spread out the message that people were able to come to us for help.