Wildfire victim benefits include IKEA discount, yoga classes

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Colorado's urge to do something, anything, to help those affected by the wildfires has spread like, well, wildfire. Caravans of cars have descended on Colorado Springs, heading right past that IKEA sign on I-25, with piles of donated goods for victims of the Waldo Canyon fire.

If the state were fighting fire with used bath towels, we'd be all set.

Over the last few days, the Westword editorial in-box has been inundated with deals and discounts to benefit fire victims: free yoga classes, free desserts, price breaks on MMJ. Already scheduled events, such as tonight's free concert/fireworks in Civic Center Park and tomorrow's Philharmonic concert at the World Arena in the Springs, have added a charity component dedicated to the wildfires; other new events are popping up daily.

Some are truly generous. Some seem oddly opportunistic.

And then there's this: IKEA Centennial has extended its deal that offered "High Park Fire victims 20 percent off a new IKEA kitchen and 30 percent off items for the rest of the home up to $10,000" to victims of the Waldo Canyon fire. Also available: "30 percent off all items in the store up to $10,000 for victims of both devastating fires."

Note that the Swedish company that moved into Colorado last summer is not donating 30 percent of all sales to wildfire relief. It's simply giving fire victims a discount when they're ready to create that fancy new kitchen in whatever place they'll wind up calling home. And since rebuilding will not be quick, IKEA is making the offer good for six months.

"On behalf of the IKEA Centennial family, we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to our neighbors," stated Annie Boeckman, manager of local marketing, PR and community outreach, in the June 29 announcement. "To us, home is the most important place in the world and we hope for a quick renewal."

And just in case you're thinking this could be your chance to get a deal on that fancy $1,899 Datid fridge/freezer, IKEA notes that this offer is only available to those who show proof of their loss with an official voucher provided by the American Red Cross.

Speaking of the Red Cross, that's a good place to go if you really want to donate to victims not just of Colorado's wildfires, but of horrific natural disasters around the country. Find more information here.

To help you balance your best instincts with the best way to actually help, the State of Colorado has also put up a site, helpcoloradonow.org, with info on how to donate and links to legit charities.

And we'll continue to post news of new benefits on the Westword blogs.

The urge to help out is commendable. Just don't get burned.

Getting ready to celebrate the Fourth of July? Get details about events all over the state by clicking on our Show and Tell post "Fourth of July events kick off across Colorado this weekend."

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