The dust was flying a little more than usual in Hartsel this past Thursday evening, June 20, as several vehicles drove out and unloaded the Sheriff, Victim Services staff, community resource representatives, pizza, watermelon and huge piles of clothing.
Mary Pat Bowen, director of Park County Victim Services, said, “We organized this community event to let everyone know about the resources available to help.”
Representatives from Park County Human Services, Mountain Peace Shelter, Park Family Connections, Colorado Community Health Alliance, and Step To Christ ministry and more were present in the Hartsel Community Center.
In addition to information, free pizza from Hartsel’s Only Pizza Place, Girl Scout cookies, watermelon and candy were provided.
With community events, there is often a give and take regarding donations and information. For example, Charlie Buehler, owner of the HOPP, donated half of the pizza and personally delivered it. Carolyn Rice, member of the Country Church of Hartsel, was able to share information with Bowen that the Hartsel Food Bank is open, despite some misinformation to the contrary.
Outside of the community center in the pavilion, Kim Maybra of the STC ministry, along with two volunteers, set up over five racks of clothing and filled several picnic tables with belts, shoes, boots and purses. All clothing was free.
Hartsel has a clothing outeach and giveaway program also, Operation Below Zero of the Halo Community Outeach, organized by Terrie Shafer. As a result of this recent event, Shafer and Maybra will partner for some future clothing giveaways.
“We will do more outreach events like this ... we chose Hartsel first because of the number of calls we got this past winter on the Elkhorn,” Bowen said.
The Park County Sheriff’s Office of Victim Services is often called out to provide advocacy assistance for a victim of a crime and the victim’s children.
Sheriff Tom McGraw, who also attended the event, said, “We work hand in hand with Victim Services and are fortunate to have them; some departments don’t have this program.”
McGraw added, “An example might be that one of our deputies deals with a domestic violence case and also calls Victim Services, who will help the remaining spouse find a safe place to stay, provide emotional support and more.”
The Victim Services advocates help people who have been affected by many types of crime, including human trafficking, murder, manslaughter, homicide, assault, kidnapping, sexual assault, robbery, elder and child abuse, stalking, burglary, and intimidation of a victim or witness.
The victim advocates can help those who need it get connected with resources, which may include financial compensation, medical expenses, burial expenses, information, and emotional support.
The telephone number to reach the Victim Services unit in Fairplay is 719-836-4110, and the Bailey office number is 303-816-5912 or 303-816-5915.