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Medley family plans new chapter of Black Forest charity

By Joe Dominguez, Multimedia Journalist - Pueblo Chieftain Bureau , j.dominguez@krdo.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:10:21 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 24 2013 03:26:05 PM CDT

Katie Medley talks about helping Black Forest Fire victims and starting a chapter of Helping Everyone Recover in Canon City. Joe Dominguez reports.

BLACK FOREST, Colo. -

A southern Colorado family that many people helped after the theater shooting in Aurora last summer is revealing a new plan to pay it forward.

Katie Medley said she will open a Canon City chapter of Helping Everyone Recover.

Medley's husband, Caleb, was shot at the theater last summer. While he was in the hospital  when their first son, Hugo, was born.

The family raised $3,000 for Helping Everyone Recover through their Pay It Forward Fundraiser in Florence one month ago.

The charity opened shortly after the Black Forest Fire in June. It began as a way for Racquel Garcia's daughter, Mackenzie, to help her friends who lost everything in the fire.

"As a mother, that's what it started from -- what would I need to begin my home?" Garcia said.

Over two months, HER acted as a middle man between donations and victims in need of household goods lost in the fire. The group helped 83 families. Garcia said the group will close it's warehouse in Tri Lakes on August 31.

Medley was inspired by the group and said HER could help families in Fremont County as well.

"We had so many people who came forward and helped us out after the shooting," Medley said. "It's really exciting to to be able to help people so I think partnering with Racquel is a really great way to do that.  I think we have a lot of the same ideas in the way to keep it small and local and help the community."

Despite remaining guarded, the Medley family said helping the community that helped them through tough times is important.

"We've been very private. We have been focused on our family and Caleb and Hugo are getting into a place where we're able to do more things," Medley said. "We want  to repay the kindness people have shown to us."

There's no time table for opening the new Helping Everyone Recover chapter.

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