Vail Valley Charitable Fund: How I was saved by a community that cares |

Vail Valley Charitable Fund: How I was saved by a community that cares

Barbara Mulholland
Special to the Daily

On July 21, 2018, my family and I were camping with friends at the Green Mountain Reservoir when our summer came to an abrupt end.

A can of cooking oil spray exploded, engulfing me in flames. I suffered severe burns to my hands and arms and both legs from my knees down to my toes. I spent a month in the University of Colorado Burn ICU in Aurora, undergoing daily, excruciating skin scrubbing, as I waited for my burns to begin to heal. It was a lot to go through, including two surgeries.

The following few months were difficult and painful and I lived in fear of infection and damage to the new skin as it slowly grew back. I could not work, so we were falling behind quickly with rent and bills.

It is in a time like this where you find out how lucky you are with the kind people who surround you in life. Our families and friends pitched in to help in so many ways.  Some gave money, some brought food, and others watched our kids when needed, and so many did all of those things. The love and support was and is so wonderful, and we are very, very fortunate. 

And it wasn’t just friends and family. The entire community around us helped so much when we needed it most. 

A thoughtful, amazing friend told me about the application I should fill out for the Vail Valley Charitable Fund since the medical bills were already rolling in when I got back to Minturn. She explained to me how VVCF assists community members in medical crisis and so much more.

Shortly after submitting the application, VVCF contacted me to let me know I would be a grant recipient. I couldn’t help but cry while thanking them for their generosity. 

When something like this happens, it’s so extremely incredible to live in a place that takes care of you and knows how important community is! I was wrapped in a blanket by all of you and I’m now able to play with my children again.

I want to thank the Vail Valley Charitable Fund for making my recovery easier than it would have been if I lived anywhere else. You are helping more than you will ever know and I still cry happy tears just thinking about it. 

You all know who you are and I’m so grateful for your love and support for me and my family during a very dark time. I hope everyone who is able can donate for the next families in need through the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. They saved us.

Thank you, with all of my heart, for helping and caring.

Barbara Mulholland is a resident of Minturn. Find out more about the VVCF’s mission at

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