United for BC Wildfire Recovery

As fires continue to devastate British Columbia, United Ways across the province are working together and mobilizing their efforts through “United for BC Wildfire Recovery”, a national initiative preparing for the recovery and rebuilding of communities throughout BC.

As Kamloops is one of the evacuation centres, United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo has been at the forefront of the onsite work.

“Recovery from a crisis like the B.C. wildfires will be a long process spanning months to several years,” says Danalee Baker, Executive Director of United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo. “Recovery and rebuilding will look different for each community as well as each individual and family. It might be as simple as cleaning out a fridge, or as intensive as re-building a home from scratch or dealing with depression as a result of trauma. What will be the same for everyone is the fear and uncertainty that such a crisis brings.”

On July 18th, United Way launched United for BC Wildfire Recovery – a campaign to raise funds for important social needs like finding permanent housing, food assistance, trauma and mental health supports, and rebuilding social infrastructure to meet community needs once the fires die down and residents return home.

The campaign will support recovery efforts in BC – both in communities experiencing fire devastation and those welcoming evacuees and providing much needed services. Recovery begins after the immediate crisis response, and it is a long-term process lasting several months to several years, focused on returning the community to an enhanced state of resiliency.

After donations are received, a United Ways of BC table, with representation from all United Ways in the province including United Way of the Lower Mainland’s President & CEO Michael McKnight, will support each other in determining community investments from the “United for BC Wildfire Recovery” fund.

People can support “United for BC Wildfire Recovery” by making a donation or signing up to volunteer for recovery efforts at www.unitedforbcwildfires.ca.

United Way’s information and referral initiative, bc211.ca, has recently expanded to cover the entire province with live web-chat and enhanced, centralized wildfire information to augment current communication channels to support the immediate needs of those in crisis.

United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo has also convened a Social Recovery Task Force to synchronise efforts to focus resources on the greatest needs. United Way is working closely with long-time partner Red Cross and local regional districts to coordinate all activities related to recovery.

United Way inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and spur policy and attitude changes that lead to lasting change in our entire region. We are working to make our communities the best they can be by focusing resources in poverty, children and youth and strong communities.

Follow United Way of the Lower Mainland on Twitter: @uwlm

For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Young
Assistant Director Communications
United Way of the Lower Mainland
Cell: 604-309-3937
Email: jennifery@uwlm.ca

 

Geralyn Alain
Director of Marketing & Communications
United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo
Cell: 1-250-682-8323
Email:  geralyn@unitedwaytnc.ca

About United Way of the Lower Mainland

United Way helps families, children and seniors in need. We are leaders in our field developing partnerships, bringing the right people together to initiate change, and tracking our progress. UWLM funds 146 agencies throughout the Lower Mainland plus 28 organizations in the Fraser Valley. To learn more, visit www.uwlm.ca.

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