Here's how Canadians can help flood-stricken B.C. residents
TORONTO -- After seeing the flow of images from British Columbia this week showing massive flooding after days of torrential rain, Canadians might be wondering how they can lend a hand from afar.
Some charitable groups already have boots on the ground and are preparing to send aid and supplies to those who need it as soon as they're able.
One of those groups is GlobalMedic, a Toronto-based disaster relief organization. They're preparing clean-up kits to help families displaced by flooding when they return to their homes after the water recedes.
"Right now we're in an acute emergency phase with people having to leave their homes, but they will have to go back at some point," Jamie Cross, GlobalMedic's Emergency Programs Officer, told CTV News Toronto on Wednesday. "Our volunteers are putting together clean-up kits to help support that rebuilding phase once they move back into the area. So, the kits will contain things like disinfectant cleaners, garbage bags, gloves, and it's all packed in a bucket that can be used to move any water out that's still remaining."
GlobalMedic is hoping to get hundreds of kits on flights to Kamloops and Vancouver by this evening, where more volunteers are waiting to arrange delivery to community centres where people in need can access them. The group also has its eye on increasing support by sending food as well.
As for how Canadians can help, Cross encouraged people to make a donation to a local organization supporting the affected areas.
"If you have a group that you know that's doing good work, consider making a financial contribution so that they can continue and reach more people," she said.
Here are some places Canadians can donate to help victims of the flooding in B.C.
The Canadian charity has been providing humanitarian aid and disaster relief since 2002 to locations around the world with cost-effectiveness in mind. Right now, they're sending clean-up kits to flooded areas of B.C. to help displaced families when they return to their homes.
Donations can be made to an emergency fund where the group will decide how to best allocate the funds, or you can specify that you want the money to go toward the B.C. flood response.
The B.C. SPCA is preparing emergency boarding services for pets from Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Langley and Cowichan. The organization is also coordinating with the province's Emergency Support Services to provide pet food, crates and other urgent supplies to displaced families.
"We're there to help the animals and the people," Eileen Drever, B.C. SPCA senior protection officer, told CTV News on Wednesday.
Donations can be made through the organization’s website.
The B.C. branch of United Way has established the United for BC Flood Response Flood to help those who have lost housing and employment as a result of the flooding.
Donations will go toward assistance with housing, food security and mental health support, according to the organization.
A donation page was launched by the Canadian Red Cross on Wednesday to provide humanitarian assistance for those in need as a result of the flooding.
Donations made through this page will be used for relief and recovery efforts related to the current crisis, the organization said, with no more than five per cent going toward fundraising costs.
For those in B.C., the Canucks for Kids Fund has announced all proceeds from its 50/50 draws, through Nov. 21, will go toward disaster relief efforts. The raffles take place during Vancouver Canucks games, and fans can buy tickets at the arena or online.
There will be two more such draws taking place on Nov. 19 and 21.
The Abbotsford Community Foundation, the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and the University of the Fraser Valley announced Thursday that they have jointly established the Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund.
According to a press release from the three organizations, the fund "will provide grants to local agencies involved in the disaster relief effort, as well as businesses that have been affected" by the mass flooding and mudslides in the Fraser Valley.
The Abbotsford Community Foundation will serve as the fund's "donation hub," accepting funds, issuing tax receipts and disbursing funds where they're needed most. Donations can be made online.
For those who want to contribute more directly to victims of flooding, GoFundMe has curated a list of verified online fundraisers so users can easily contribute to relief efforts of cities, community hubs or even individual families.
GoFundMe says it has tools in place to verify the identify of those asking for funds, but be wary of any fraudulent campaigns designed to exploit public sympathy.
With files from CTV News Vancouver's Andrew Weichel and Ross McLaughlin