Hello and Happy New Year from Shabbat Candle Club. We are very hopeful that 2022 will bring a year of health, exploration, laughter, and healing.
Unfortunately, in our community, 2021 ended in devastation. All four of us reside in Boulder County, Mara and Kyle in Boulder, and we (Karli and Aaron) in Superior. On December 30, 2021, the Marshall Fire swept through the towns of Louisville and Superior with such a ferocity that the 30,000 residents from both towns had to quickly evacuate. Luckily we (Karli, Aaron, and daughters Maggie and Lucy) were able to frantically grab a few belongings, our pets, and leave our neighborhood in bumper-to-bumper traffic. We weren’t sure where we were going to land, but our dearest friends Mara and Kyle quickly jumped in and assured us that our family had a place to stay in their Boulder home. In a daze they welcomed us into their home – where we all watched the news frantically through the night. In the morning we found out our house was still standing and damage-free. We then stayed with Mara and Kyle (and their 3 kids) for 3 days until we could return home. We are so fortunate to have such incredible friends who did not hesitate to support us in our greatest time of need.
All of us in the 80027 zip code were at the mercy of the wind on December 30th. We were lucky, but thousands of our neighbors were not. Over 1000 homes were lost, and many other homes so severely damaged that residents will not be returning home for a long time. It has been predicted that it will be over 2 years before those who lost their homes will be able to return to their neighborhoods. We cannot aptly describe the devastation that has occurred. Complete neighborhoods are now gone – ash, burned rubble, an acrid scent of smoke, shells of cars that have been burned are what replace our once vibrant streets. And we must mention the loss of human life and the dear pets that were lost as well. These events, memories, and images have traumatized an entire community.
As community members and in the spirit of Tikkun Olam – repairing the world – we feel we must give back to our community and play a part in the needed recovery and healing efforts. With 3 of our Founders growing up in Boulder, and all of us raising families here, we have many friends, Temple congregants, and acquaintances who lost everything. Everyday we are hearing new stories of loss and pain and with this in mind, we decided that we will be donating our profits from January 15 – February 15th to the Boulder Community Fund and to JEWISHcolorado. These organizations are helping families get back on their feet – we also invite you to donate to them directly if you prefer. Additionally, we want to allow our Shabbat Candle Club (SCC) family an opportunity to purchase the “Marshall Fire Donation Subscription Box” which we will dontate to those who have lost their homes and need the respite of Shabbat to help bring in light, hope, and a moment of rest. We’ll be working with local Jewish organizations to get these donated SCC subscriptions to community members in need. We hope you will join with us in supporting those that have lost everything.
With gratitude and love,
Karli and Aaron Atwell, co-founders of Shabbat Candle Club
Mara and Kyle Kuczun, co-founders of Shabbat Candle Club