Community rallies to support Mexican farmworkers displaced by fire

Clothing and other essentials needed for 78 workers after fire at Abbotsford farm

British Columbian unions and Abbotsford Community Services are collecting donations to help dozens of Mexican farmworkers who watched a fire consume the building containing most of their possessions Thursday morning in Abbotsford.

The fire displaced 78 farmworkers employed at Lakeland Flowers on No. 4 Road. The workers were relocated to other farms, and the Mexican consulate posted a message yesterday saying the workers have a “roof, food, clothing and will soon be able to recover their identity documents.”

But the workers are still in need of many essentials, so the BC Federation of Labour put out a call this morning on Facebook calling for donations for a range of items, including toiletries like toothbrushes, work essentials like work boots, bedding, hats, suitcases and old cellphones and chargers.

Abbotsford Community Services has also gotten involved, and the organization’s food bank is helping supply food and toilettries. ACS is accepting donations of gift cards, toiletries food or good quality clothing at its building at 2420 Montrose Avenue and at the food bank, at 33914 Essendene Avenue. Those locations are open Monday to Friday, and ACS is looking to secure a weekend collection site as well.

ACS has also set up a fund to support the farmworkers. It can be found at abbotsfordcommunityservices.com/donate/farmworkers.

Local faith groups are also chipping in, with the Sikh temple bringing in lunch on Friday and St. Anne’s Church helping out with clothing.

Alexis Warmerdam, whose family operates the farm, said the fire could have been much worse and gave thanks to the response from first responders and local farms that are housing the workers. While all the clothing inside the building was a loss, Warmerdam said some possessions survived the blaze, including more passports than had been expected.

Many of the workers began their contracts just a couple months ago; while some are slated to go home in the coming months, others are expected to continue working in Canada through the fall.

 

Just Posted

BC Cancer Agency refuses to release audit’s critical findings, but discloses ‘positive’ findings

Information and Privacy Commissioner asked to review redactions of cancer agency’s triage audit

Barred Owl family spotted by Fishtrap Creek

Sighting a positive sign for tourism in Abbotsford

Mission-Mastqui-Fraser Canyon MP Jati Sidhu to run for federal re-election

The Liberal candidate has officially announced he will be on the ballot this October

Yale man arrested after fleeing police in downtown Hope

Man arrested on three outstanding warrants after being caught in stolen van

Fraser Valley Bandits split pair of games

Bandits post win over Hamilton on Thursday, fall to River Lions in Niagara on Saturday

VIDEO: Missing teens named as suspects in three northern B.C. killings

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky are wanted in the deaths of Lucas Fowler, Chynna Deese, unknown man

B.C. teens wanted in double homicide, suspicious death spotted in Manitoba

Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky were thought to have been seen in the Gillam area

Countdown starts to 2020 BC Summer Games

Two flags unveiled at Maple Ridge city hall.

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Weather Network’s anti-meat video ‘doesn’t reflect true story’: cattle ranchers

At issue is the video’s suggestion that cutting back on meat consumption could help save the planet

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Wrestling legend finds his wedding dance groove in B.C.

Professional wrestler Chris Jericho posted on social media that he was in Penticton recently

Vancouver Public Library banned from Pride parade after allowing controversial speaker

Vancouver Public Library allowed Meghan Murphy to book space for an event at the library in January

Man arrested after allegedly attacking people with syringe in Burnaby mall

Police say that no one has yet to come forward with injuries consistent with needle stab wounds

Most Read