Central Okanagan Salvation Arm to help in Fort McMurray

Kelowna representatives of the Sally Ann are being deployed to help returning evacuees from disastrous fire

The Salvation Army Central Okanagan Emergency Disaster Service Team is being sent to assist in Fort McMurray.

The Salvation Army Central Okanagan Emergency Disaster Service Team is being sent to assist in Fort McMurray.

Four members of the Salvation Army emergency disaster service team will head to Fort McMurray on Wednesday to help with the return of people evacuated due to the Fort McMurrray fire.

The Central Okanagan team will be among two teams deployed by the Salvation Army to help in Fort McMurray. A similar team was sent from Terrace last weekend and will be joined by the Kelowna team this week.

The main purpose of the team will be to provide food for the many service providers, first responders and clean-up crews in Fort McMurray who are working to get the city ready as residents get set to return. The Central Okanagan team will be located inĀ  welcome centre being set up to assist residents returning to the city.

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army is also assisting evacuees who are here in the Central Okanagan, either waiting to return or opting to remain in the area in alternate housing. Many have come in to the Salvation Army for help.

“In the last few weeks, we have been seeing more families and individuals from the Fort Mac area,” said Sonia Wither, community ministries coordinator. “Right now they are mainly in need of food and clothing support, with some hoping to relocate.”

A lot of help has been coming through the Salvation Arm thrift store, which has been helping people replenish their wardrobes. Anyone registered with the Canadian Red Cross can bring in their identifciation and receive up to five outfits per person. And the public also continues to try to help.

“The community has been wonderful with reaching out to find out how they can help,” said Pam Grimm, Sally Ann communications coordinator. “Right now financial aid to support the EDS support work and to help with the cost of helping the evacuees coming here is the best way. When we have specific needs such as clothing or furniture we will put out a community call. Right now we are making it work with our in store stock and supplies. However replacing that stock with donations is appreciated.”

The Salvation Army says it has raised nearly $1 million in donations nationally.

You can donate by clicking this link www.salvationarmy.ca/albertafires.