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, which are still dealing with a massive recovery effort.
On Monday (May 2) at the Salvation Army Cascade Church in Abbotsford, Mayor Henry Braun and Dean Colthorp of the First Nations’ Emergency Services Society of B.C. were on hand to receive their funding – $100,000 and $500,000 respectively.
Braun thanked the Salvation Army for their support immediately following the November 2021 flood and as recovery work continues.
“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,” he said.
Salvation Army spokesperson Mike Leland said the ongoing funding will help communities in their continuing recovery efforts.
“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,” he said. “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 supported immediate relief efforts such as food security, evacuation supplies and temporary shelters.
This second round of funding totaling $725,000 will go directly to communities that are dealing with recovery and restoration, including construction, equipment and labour, and continued support with food security.
Communities include Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Merritt, and Princeton, as well as the First Nations Emergency Services’ Society.
Leland said many of the villages in First Nations communities were cut off completely from all forms of help, and the recovery efforts are taking twice as long because much of the infrastructure, such as roads and bridges, was completely destroyed.
“We know this may be a small drop in the bucket,” he said. “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 provided everything from food security to clothing to Christmas gifts for those who were displaced into the holiday season.