From Supporters to Heroes: Taking a Look at SCLA and the Community’s Support for the Firefighters

Mikayla Jellico, Staff Writer

On Thursday, October 22nd, 2020, SCLA (Silver Creek Leadership Academy), students, families, and the community came together to provide strong, loving support for the firefighters, who were working tirelessly to keep individuals safe. By combining their efforts, those who were committed to help were able to collect and donate around twenty truck loads of food and drinks, as the firefighters continued putting their best effort into controlling the fires that continued to blaze across mountainous terrain, dangerously close to many schools and homes. 

At Silver Creek Highschool, located in Longmont, Colorado, cars pulled up around the front of the school to drop off various food and drink items. The majority of these items included granola bars, Gatorade, Pop Tarts, crackers, bottled water, and beef jerky. Other supporters of the firefighters joined in to drop off things such as fresh donuts and coffee at the fire stations. No matter what food and drink items were donated, or where and who they came from, the goal still remained the same: to provide a needed item to support the firefighters, and to make sure they understood the community’s appreciation for keeping them safe.

It started with a click and the send of an email on Monday that same week. What happened afterwards would be an astonishing and mind-blowing surprise to the entire SCLA crew.

With the expectation and goal of receiving two pickup truck loads full of snacks, drinks, and other goods for the firefighters, the amount had expanded to be ten times the size in just the few hours donations could be dropped off (3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.).

Carrie Adams, the host of the event and also one of the leaders of the SCLA group, was one of the first to express her amazement of all of the food and drinks that were soon to be donated. 

“For it being such a short period of time— you don’t normally have a drive and only have it for two days or three days—to get the word out, and for it to turn around that quickly, and [to] have that many people show up…I just think that what that meant was that there were a lot of people who wanted to help.”

Adams was not wrong about the tremendous amount of the community wanting to pitch in and help out. In fact, the volunteers at the event struggled to keep up with the never ending line of donations from community members. 

“It was crazy. We couldn’t keep up with it, and we couldn’t deliver it in the vehicles we had made arrangements for because there was way too much stuff,” says Adams. “It grew really big, and that’s a good thing.”

“We could have had twenty five volunteers, and it still wouldn’t have been enough, just because it was so busy,” Adams adds. “[The volunteers] were true rockstars. They busted their butt on that night…they were out there like troopers the whole time, and [they] really helped us get it together.”

With quite a tremendous donation, many individuals were proud of how much had been sent away, but to many SCLA members, contributing to the event and putting their strong efforts towards supporting the firefighters meant so much more than just a large donation. It was rather a response of gratitude, respect, and appreciation for what the firefighters do, and what they have done to protect the community, in these past couple of months especially.

Silver Creek student, current SCLA member, and volunteer at Thursday’s event, Julianne Johnston, is one of many to spread their thanks and great appreciation to the firefighters. Johnston says, “I hope the firefighters understand how appreciated they are…Thank you! Thank you so much!”

Katherine Bogdanova, another student, volunteer, and current SCLA member at Silver Creek,  also volunteered to express her gratitude to the firefighters. “We thank them so much, and they are heroes,” says Bogdanova. “I would just thank them for everything; not during just these local fires, but for doing this as their job. They are always risking their lives and trying to keep us safe by being firefighters.”

These thanks and words of gratitude come a long way for the firefighters, but these thanks are also not one sided. Many firefighters are sending a “thank you” right back  to everyone for all of the support, donations, and love they have received from the community.

Scott Noakes, a firefighter who is currently in office, and a firefighter that has been for 27 years, is just as thankful, if not more thankful to the community than community members are for the firefighters and their work. 

“It really is so nice when people do all of that stuff for us,” Noakes explains. “A lot of times you feel unappreciated when you’re doing just kind of rotten work…with everything else that is going on, with all the riots and all that stuff, [it is nice to see] that actually the majority of the people do care about what’s going on. It makes you feel really good that people are actually concerned…to actually know that people are worried, worried about how you are doing, making sure everything is ok. It’s really huge. We appreciate it so much. Thank you so much for everything you have done. It means so much to everybody,” says Noakes.