Cindy and Ray Miller fire fund

Cindy Miller was a Flight Attendant for American Airlines for 26 years. She enjoyed her job, and had a very positive impact on her colleagues, as well as her passengers. After much thought and contemplation, Cindy decided to hang up her wings. In February of 2013 Cindy flew her last trip. She decided it was time to enjoy her beautiful home in the Black Forest of Colorado, and spend more time with her wonderful husband Ray of 22 years, her children, grandchildren, family, and friends.

Unfortunately what was supposed to be a time of enjoyment, and relaxation for Cindy and Ray, has turned into total devastation and destruction, and rebuilding. Cindy and Ray lost their home, and all of their belongings in the Black Forest Fire on June 11, 2013. This has been the most destructive forest fire in Colorado's history.

Ray had his home built in the Black Forest in 1980. He brought home his beautiful bride Cindy to share this home in 1989. The surrounding trees, the nature, wildlife, and peacefulness, are many of the reasons people choose to live in the Black Forest. Living in a forest, they were both aware, and concerned for fire danger, and had prepared the house and property as advised hoping to never experience it.

Now imagine being home, with windows open enjoying the breeze, and the fresh smell of pine in the air. Listening to the birds sing, and the hummingbirds go by. That was June 11, 2013. On that afternoon, Cindy and Ray both suddenly smelled smoke, and immediately wondered if there was a fire in the neighborhood. Even though they weren't aware at that time that a forest fire had started just west of their home, Cindy started putting a few things in a bag, just in case. Cindy and Ray are wonderful neighbors and friends. They had been house, and cat sitting for friends. With the smell of smoke, and possible fire, Cindy left to check on their friends home, and their kitty Gabby. After gathering a few things for their friends, and with Gabby in tow, she headed back to her property, only to find it already in flames. While Cindy was being a good neighbor and friend, Ray was trying to save what he could, but time was against him, and he had to get out. They watched the house go up in flames in front of them. Their home was one of the first to burn down that day. The start of the fire was just west of them. They had no forewarning. They didn't have time to prepare and evacuate. The fire happened so quickly. Now everything is gone.

Retirement is supposed to be a time for enjoyment after a lifetime of hard work. Time to spend with family, friends, loved ones. Doing the things you have always dreamed of doing, but never quite had the time for. Cindy and Ray's home was someplace special. Their home was so welcoming and warm. They opened it to friends, family, and strangers. Anyone and everyone was welcome. It was a place of peace and solitude. A place to gather your thoughts, and enjoy nature. A place to relax and enjoy time with good friends, and family. Sitting on the back porch listening to the birds, watching the hummingbirds, and the occasional deer go by. So many memories made, so many to come. Now due to circumstances beyond their control, they have nothing left.

Being faced with rebuilding everything is daunting. Because Cindy is a retired Flight Attendant, she is unable to draw any resources from the non profit organization Wings, which is a wonderful organization, but was designed to help active employees. Although insurance will reimburse, Cindy and Ray are faced with rebuilding their lives without any other assistance, except from us. Please think about how it must feel to have nothing, except the clothes on your back, and having to start completely over. Please consider helping out this wonderful couple by donating today.

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Meg Shields Hawkins 
Colorado Springs, CO
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