Abbotsford, B.C. (May 2) – The Salvation Army is providing ongoing flood relief to some of the hardest hit areas in the province, including $500,000 to First Nations groups, who are still dealing with a massive recovery effort.
“The funding will help communities in their continued recovery efforts,” says Salvation Army spokesperson Mike Leland. “Some of the hardest hit communities are still dealing with a massive cleanup and restoration efforts, including some first nations communities that were completely cut off during the floods. Our goal is to get them back to some sense of normalcy as soon as possible.”
To date the organization has provided more than $600,000 to regions impacted by the flood earlier this year. The initial round of funding was in support of immediate relief efforts: food security, evacuation supplies, temporary shelters. This second round of funding totaling $725,000 will go directly to support communities that are dealing with recovery and restoration: construction, equipment and labour, and continued support with food security. Communities include Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Merritt, and Princeton and the First Nations Emergency Service Society.
Both the Mayor of the City of Abbotsford Mr. Henry Braun and First Nations Emergency Support Society’s Dean Colthorp were on hand at The Salvation Army Cascade Church in Abbotsford to receive their funding.
“On behalf of Abbotsford City Council, the City of Abbotsford and our residents, I want to thank The Salvation Army for their flood relief support immediately following the November 2021 flood and now as recovery work continues,” said Henry Braun, City of Abbotsford Mayor. “Over 300 City infrastructure sites were damaged and $100,000 to the City of Abbotsford will help us move our recovery and restoration work forward.”
In First Nations communities, the funding is desperately needed as many of the villages were cut off completely from all forms of help and the recovery efforts are taking twice as long because a lot of the infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, were completely destroyed.
“We know this may be a small drop in the bucket,” says Leland. “But every dollar helps these communities in their recovery effort, and as an organization that serves on the front lines, we are duty-bound to support the communities and those who call them home.”
In the early days of the flood, The Salvation Army was on hand to provide immediate relief to first responders and evacuees in the hardest hit areas. Funds were also distributed to outlying communities to support the influx of evacuees. Communities such as Kamloops and Kelowna were there to support evacuees with everything from food security to clothing to Christmas gifts for those who were displaced into the holiday season.