United for B.C. wildfire recovery
As fires continue to devastate British Columbia, United Way is mobilizing efforts through ‘United for BC Wildfire Recovery,’ a national initiative preparing for the recovery and rebuilding of communities across the province.
“Recovery from a crisis like the B.C. wildfires will be a long process spanning months to several years,” said 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 18, 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.
Funds raised through this initiative will stay in B.C. to support the greatest needs of affected communities. As the fire season evolves, this list will expand. 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.