ENGLEWOOD, Colo. --With relief efforts underway for the recent Colorado flooding disaster, Broncos players Mitch Unrein and Ben Garland – both Colorado natives – traded their football helmets for phone headsets and joined the volunteer cause on Tuesday.
Unrein and Garland answered phones during the Colorado Flood Relief Fundraiser Telethon, joining Broncos alumni Steve Foley, Reggie Rivers, Mike Harden and Le-Lo Lang as volunteers for the telethon, which raised money for the local Red Cross and food banks in the state that are helping flood victims
"Being from Colorado, when you see all the devastation, it definitely hits a little harder," Unrein said. "For Ben and me, it's our day off, so we decided that we would just come here and try to help out any way that we could. We got a lot of people calling in and there has been a lot of money raised so far."
Both players were delighted by the outpouring of support demonstrated by callers.
"It was a really cool experience. You just saw the generosity of Colorado coming together," Garland said. "I had thousand-dollar phone call donations. You just had people turning out and trying to help their neighbors in this time of need."
The event was hosted by TeleTech, which provided the facilities needed to host the telethon at its headquarters.
"It was awesome to see how well they put it together, how organized it is and how many people showed up to help out," Garland said. "It was cool to answer the phone calls."
Ultimately, the event represented Colorado neighbors coming together and supporting one another in a time of need.
"It really shows how close-knit Colorado is and how family-oriented Colorado is," Unrein said. "If someone's having a hard time, somebody's going to step up and try to help them out financially, or in any way possible."
"I'm born and raised here," Garland added. "That's just what Colorado is about. Just seeing how the Broncos are involved in the community and how the neighbors here help each other out, it's just awesome."