Sun Peaks has been part of a grassroots movement in B.C. to provide needed resources to those affected by this summer’s wildfires.
After hearing of the devastation in Lytton last week—where a wildfire ran through the community last Wednesday—Sun Peaks resident Caroline Thompson helped mobilize the community, which came through in a big way.
Taking to Facebook the day after the Lytton fire, she asked the community to donate resources to help those affected.
“By like 2 p.m. in the afternoon, we had enough stuff to fill three vehicles,” said Thompson. “It was really encouraging. It’s really heartwarming.”
That day a group of volunteers drove three vehicle loads of donations to Merritt, where they were ultimately dropped at Shulus Community Arena at the Lower Nicola Indian Band reserve.
“Initially, we were going to drive as far as Lillooet, but in the midst of deploying our first car, we received word that it was being evacuated also,” said Thompson. The evacuation order for the community has since been lifted, though an area just north of it is under an evacuation order for the McCay Creek Wildfire.
On July 6, the community was asked to shift their effort from material goods to cash donations and gift cards as organizations and evacuation centres around the Interior were becoming overwhelmed with items.
On July 4, Kamloops This Week reported that Emergency Management BC is developing a plan to manage assistance that has been offered.
The province is also encouraging the public to donate to trusted organizations, such as the United Way, Food Banks BC or the Canadian Red Cross.
To donate to the Red Cross, please do so online at www.redcross.ca or by calling 1-800-418-1111 and direct your donation to the British Columbia Fires Appeal campaign.
Donations will be used for immediate and ongoing relief efforts, long-term recovery, resiliency and preparedness for future events in British Columbia and impacted regions, including consequential events related to the fires.
“Years of experience have shown us that the needs from a disaster of this magnitude will be immense, and we are committed to supporting communities in the days, weeks and months ahead,” said Patrick Quealey, vice president of the British Columbia and Yukon, Canadian Red Cross, in a release.
Speaking of the quick response of Sun Peaks residents, Thompson said she’s been truly impressed with the outpouring of support.
“Everyone has been so amazing, and that’s why this community is so amazing, because everyone, when asked, just comes right away to support the cause.”