Charity From Ashes: Colorado Center for the Blind Students Organize Donation Drive for Avista Hospital NICU Babies

Taylor and Amanda hold up donated knitted preemie caps and a onesie
The CCB Student Association has already collected many items, as well as Amazon gift cards to help out Avista’s NICU babies. Amanda Juetten (President) and Taylor Oesch (Parliamentarian) show off some of the donations, which include blankets, caps, t-shirts and more.

With the start of any new year, hopes are high that the trials and tribulations faced by us all can be left behind, and a fresh year can come; 2022 was no different. However, for us living here in Colorado, the new year was signaled with a devastating beacon glowing upon the evening skyline. Starting on December 30, 2021 through January 1, 2022, the Marshall fire raged across the Boulder county area, resulting in 1 death and burning of 1,084 structures and damage to 149 others, with damages estimated around 513 million dollars. Citizens of Louisville, Superior, and Broomfield were evacuated, and areas of Lafayette, Arvada, and Westminster were issued pre-evacuation orders as precautionary measures. 

The Marshall fire has sparked a flame of positive outreach and community support for those impacted by its devastation, with none being as significant as the efforts being made towards helping the babies at the Avista Adventist Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Serving Louisville, Colorado, Avista was not directly damaged by the flames thanks to the colossal efforts by hospital staff, but did suffer significant smoke damage resulting in the closure of the facility. As a result, many babies under the care of the NICU need supplies that were made unusable by the damage, such as knit hats, blankets and other clothing items. One such effort is being mounted by students and staff at our own Colorado Center for the Blind. 

Student Association President Amanda Juetten has organized a drive to provide these needed supplies to the Avista NICU. She set up an Amazon registry, monetary donations are being converted into tangible items requested by Avista for their NICU, with deliveries coming daily to the Colorado Center for the Blind. Dozens of items have been gathered for the donation already, alongside hundreds of dollars in cash donations yet to be converted into items. Our student body, comprised mainly of students from outside Colorado, has shown such compassion for those living in our wonderful state, as well as actively working with our staff to make things happen. This effort is scheduled to run until Thursday, January 20, with the donations gathered being delivered Friday the 21st. If you would like to contribute to our drive through the Colorado Center for the Blind, or simply want a point of contact to get involved, contact information will be [provided at the end of the article. 

his is one of many efforts being made by the greater Denver community in support of those effected, it stands as an important highlight that shows the immense dedication and decisive action we within the blind community foster. Regardless of circumstance, hometown, or condition, we make the effort to provide for those who need it, especially those NICU babies left most vulnerable in the wake of the fire. The Avista Adventist Hospital is scheduled to reopen Tuesday, January 18, only three weeks after the damage. However, this does not mark the end of the support needed by both Avista and the numerous others impacted by the Marshall fire. If you would like to support the Avista Adventist Hospital and its staff through donations, there are links provided below to resources. If you would like to donate to those effected by the fire, please visit the Marshall Fire Donations and Resource Center (information provided below). 

Links and Resources: 

CCB Student Association’s Amazon Registry

Avista Adventist Hospital Foundation:

SCl Health emergency fund:

GoFundMe for Centennial Peaks staff:

Marshall Fire Donations and Resource Center website:

Community Foundation Boulder County

Article Sources: 

Denver Gazette Article link:,26%2C%201910

Denver Post Article:

The Denver Channel Article link:

Colorado Hospital Association Page: