The Black Forest Fire in Colorado burned 16,000 acres in 9 days this June and left 509 homes destroyed with thousands of families and their animals displaced1. This was the most destructive fire in the state's history, surpassing the 2012 Waldo Canyon Fire which also began near Colorado Springs, CO. Right in the heart of Black Forest, Colorado, on Black Forest Road is the site of Rockin’ B Feed & Supply. The long-time local business, which sits only 50 yards from the fire line was spared from the blaze.
Black Forest is a small, tightly knit community and Rockin’ B proprietor Bob Norris values each and every customer that walks through his doors. Norris has personally spoken with over 50 families that have lost everything in the fire and are now looking at the daunting task of cleaning up and rebuilding their lives. As the flames died down and people were being allowed to go back to what was left of their homes, Norris decided to step up and help his customers and community in a big way.
First, Norris teamed up with Front Range Equine Rescue to meet the immediate needs of displaced livestock. Front Range Equine Rescue has been helping to pay for hay and feeding evacuated horses. Thus far, The Rockin’ B Feed and Supply has distributed over 60,000 pounds of hay for the animals.Rockin’ B Feed & Supply already carries many of the Noble Equine items. “The products are great. Even my employees all have the socks and love them,” commented Norris. He knew Noble Equine work gloves would be perfect for the tough job ahead.
Answering that call was Noble Equine Product Manager, Chris Ellsworth. Norris explained, “It doesn't matter if it’s only 20 pair, anything is appreciated.” Upon learning of the situation and what Norris was doing to help the families in his community, Ellsworth got right to work. He and his team personally packed up over 150 pairs of Noble Equine Ranch Tough™ work gloves. Ellsworth shipped them overnight to get to Norris and his community what they desperately needed as quickly as possible.
The Noble Equine Ranch Tough™ work gloves are the ideal choice for the arduous task facing Norris and the Black Forest community. The gloves are designed with durable full grain goatskin leather palm, fingertips and knuckles for maximum dexterity for detailed tasks like hammering a nail. The Kevlar® cut-resistant reinforcement panel and padded palm and knuckles offer superior protection for larger jobs like sorting and moving large piles of debris. And the strategically placed terrycloth on the thumb wipes the brow sweat after a long day.
With every pair of Noble Equine gloves that he gives away, Norris is handing out hope and a means to start anew. The gloves are, quite literally, helping families sift through the ashes and repair their lives, one handful at a time. Customers who came in to purchase gloves for the clean-up process were very surprised, touched, and thankful for the unexpected gift. “It’s amazing how something so small as a pair of gloves can have such a big impact,” noted Norris, “Thank you again Chris, and to all of you people there at Noble Equine!”
In the end, however, it’s more than just a pair of gloves, a bucket, and a few necessities. “We have [gotten] a chance to talk with people over these gloves, hear their stories, embrace them, cry with them, and offer them any form of help we can,” explains Norris.
With the help of Noble Equine’s Ranch Tough work gloves and additional help from Purina Animal Nutrition, Wild Blue Animal Rescue, Pyrana, Zukes, and Veterinary Supply Inc., the first round of donations have been packaged and distributed. The Rockin’ B team is now working on building more buckets as additional items arrive.
It is just the beginning of the reconstruction process for local families. There is still a lot of work to do, but Norris and Rockin’ B Feed & Supply will be there with them every step of the way.
Families have lost everything including their horse supplies and equipment. Horses are still in evacuation locations until their barns and pastures can be rebuilt. To join Noble Equine in helping Bob Norris and the Black Forest community in rebuilding efforts, please send donations to: Rockin' B Feed & Supply c/o Bob Norris.