A 8-foot long container filled with donations from Victoria for Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake evacuees arrived in Terrace Sept. 12 with enough household supplies to help around 200 people.
Disaster Aid Canada, a Ladysmith Rotary Club program and registered charity, reached out to volunteers at the donation centre on Hwy16 after Terrace Rotary Club members asked if they could help provide supplies for those affected by the wildfires. A container was donated by BigSteelBox, who split the travel costs between Western Canadian Powerstrokes from Victoria to Terrace.
“It’s amazing when you try to put something together in such a short period of time how people come out of the woodwork to help you,” said Anne McIntyre, Disaster Aid Canada executive director.
McIntyre worked with Robyn Day in Terrace, who has been working nearly every day at the donation centre since the evacuation order was placed, to get a list of supplies together. Day put together a detailed list and sent it to the McIntyre, who said volunteers were then able to fill the container within a week.
Many evacuees are currently staying in hotels in the city, and Day said most of the list was comprised of essential household items.
According to the BC Wildfire Service, the fire is now designated as “Being Held”, meaning that with the resources currently committed to the fire, sufficient suppression action has been taken that the fire is not likely to spread beyond existing boundaries. However an evacuation order remains in place for residents of Telegraph Creek.
“Some of them had nothing to cook on, so microwaves, toasters and ovens were needed,” Day said. “They got it all together and they sent it to us, it was awesome to see.”
The container arrived in Terrace Sept. 12 and donation centre volunteers, members from the Tahltan Nation and Terrace Rotary Club members helped unload the supplies into the centre. Five people then worked throughout the next day to put together around 20 hampers for families in need, which were then distributed or made available for pickup.
“We just divvied it all up, and the containers are crazy full. You can’t even fit a stick of rice in some of them,” Day said. “I was so excited for everybody, just overwhelmed.”
McIntyre said the organization will send another shipment of donations for evacuees for the winter months, filled with warmer clothing, jackets and other supplies.
In the meantime, Day said the donation centre is accepting warmer items like scarves, hats and gloves along with food, toiletries and other needed supplies.
Volunteers are also still needed to pick up shifts at the centre to help organize and distribute items.
For more information on how to help, check the Telegraph Creek Donation Drive Facebook page.