Central Okanagan EDS team deployed to Fort Mac

Image Credit: Contributed

The Salvation Army Central Okanagan Emergency Disaster Service Team is being sent to assist in Fort McMurray.

Since the beginning of the Fort Mac fires The Salvation Army Community Response Units and Emergency Disaster Services teams from around Canada have been on the
front lines supporting and feeding first responders.

With Evacuees returning, two teams from BC have been deployed to go to Fort McMurray to assist as Evacuees return to their homes. The Terrace team left this past weekend. The Central Okanagan team of 4 EDS members will deploy June 1.

The main purpose for EDS and CRU teams are to provide food for the many service providers, first responders and clean-up crews in Fort McMurray who are trying to get
the city ready for the re-entry of residents displaced by the fire. The Central Okanagan team will be located in a welcome centre being set up to assist residents returning to Fort Mac beginning on June 1.

With evacuees here in the Central Okanagan, many are waiting until they can return with others choosing to make the Okanagan home. The Salvation Army team at the
Community Life Centre have been working with those who have come for help. “In the last few weeks we have been seeing more families and individuals from the Fort
Mac area. Right now they are mainly in need of food and clothing support, with some hoping to relocate.” says, Sonia Wither, Community Ministries Coordinator.

The Salvation Army Thrift Stores have been helping Evacuees replenish their wardrobes. Anyone who has been registered with the Red Cross brings their identification to one of the 3 stores in the Central Okanagan and receives up to 5 outfits per person. Store Managers have reported an increase in receiving Evacuees.

“The community has been wonderful with reaching out to find out how they can help. Right now financial aid to support the EDS support work, and to help with the cost of helping the Evacuees coming here is the best way.” shares Pam Grimm, Communications Coordinator. “When we have specific needs, such as clothing or furniture, we will put out a community call. Right now we are making it work with our in store stock and supplies. However replacing that stock with donations is appreciated.”

The Salvation Army has raised nearly $1 million in donations nationally to support their work with the Alberta Fires and to assist in helping those impacted by the fires.

Many have inquired about how they can help, here is how:

1. Financial Support can be made online www.salvationarmy.ca/albertafires
2. Text a $10 donation by texting FORTMAC to 45678
3. Call: 1-800-SAL-ARMY

For those looking to donate practically:
Clothing Donations can be brought to the Donation Welcome Centre at 2330 Hunter Rd., Kelowna. Mens and Children’s clothing are the most needed.

The Salvation Army Food Bank at the Community Life Centre at 200 Rutland Rd. is always in need of core supplies such as Toilet Paper, paper goods, feminine products, diapers and non perishable foods. Fresh veggies and fruits are always welcome.

Anyone looking to make a meat donation should contact the CLC first for instructions.

Those who have been affected by the Fires can contact our Community Life Centre for assistance: 250 -765-3450 Or if they have their Red Cross Evacuee information they can go directly to one of our three Salvation Army Thrift Stores and receive a voucher for clothing.

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