Colorado restaurant chains pitch in for wildfire relief

The wildfires that have scorched nearly 18,000 acres of Colorado in the past couple of weeks continue to rage, with full containment not predicted until at least July 12 earliest, according to the LA Times

The fires are responsible for two fatalities and the destruction of about 350 homes. At one point last week, more than 32,000 people were evacuated. This series of fires is the worst in the state's history.

Numerous Colorado-based restaurant chains have stepped up to provide help, food and whatever else is needed as the slow recovery process begins.

For example, Good Times Burgers and Frozen Custard, headquartered in Golden, is offering a free Good Times Deluxe Cheeseburger combo for firefighters in uniform or with a firefighter ID. The giveaway is good at the chain's Fort Collins, Loveland and Windsor locations and, according to the brand's Facebook page, is a way to thank them for their work during this tragedy.

Other efforts include:

Qdoba Mexican Grill (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) will host a day-long fundraiser July 10 to benefit American Red Cross Colorado Wildfires 2012, enabling the continued support of families and communities affected. All guests that donate a minimum of $1 to benefit American Red Cross Colorado Wildfires 2012 at any Colorado Qdoba restaurant will receive a coupon for a free order of chips and 3-Cheese Queso as a 'thank you' for their support. In turn, Qdoba will match the total funds collected up to $50,000 with a goal of raising $100,000.

Local Breads of the World, franchisee of Panera Bread in Colorado, is making a $20,000 donation to the Care and Share Food Bank in assistance for those affected by the Colorado wildfires. The donation is made to support Panera Bread's objective of helping its local communities.

Boston Market (Golden, Colo.) served food for evacuees and volunteers at the Waldo Canyon Fire. The brand has posted photos on its Facebook page.

Einstein Bros Bagels (Lakewood, Colo.) linked the American Red Cross website to its Facebook page, asking fans to help and thanking "firefighters, their families, friends and neighbors who are doing so much to help."

LaMar's Donuts and Coffee (Centennial, Colo.) donated more than 4,000 donuts to the firefighters and volunteers working to extinguish the wildfires burning near Fort Collins.

Noodles & Company (Broomfield, Colo.) asked its Facebook fans to say a prayer or do a rain dance for the state.

Quiznos (Denver) asked its fans to make a donation to the American Red Cross, and included the organization's link on its Facebook page.

Borriello Brothers Real New York Pizza (Colorado Springs, Colo.) continues to feed evacuees, volunteers, operations centers and firefighters in the Colorado Springs area. The company asked fans to participate in a "Donate your Discount" campaign to raise money for the food. On its website, Borriello Brothers thanked everyone who donated, adding: "But we're still not done. We are going to keep feeding everyone that continues to help the community through this. The flames may subside, but there are countless hours of work to be done. We are determined to keep aiding the community until this is all nothing but a memory."

Photo from Boston Market's Facebook page features "Chris" of the Colorado Springs restaurant carving the chicken for the shelter.

Read more about cause marketing.

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