Donations of disaster relief supplies pour in to the lakecity

The fire relief donation centre set up in the old Lake City Ford building on Oliver Street will be accepting donations for another week or so, but may also be extended as the need arises. Key leaders of the operation are Veronica Zwiers (from the left) the warehouse manager, Zac Pinette the project co-ordinator, Glenda Winger the inventory controller, and Meg Fehr the communications officer. Gaeil Farrar photoThe fire relief donation centre set up in the old Lake City Ford building on Oliver Street will be accepting donations for another week or so, but may also be extended as the need arises. Key leaders of the operation are Veronica Zwiers (from the left) the warehouse manager, Zac Pinette the project co-ordinator, Glenda Winger the inventory controller, and Meg Fehr the communications officer. Gaeil Farrar photo
Volunteer Monica Marklinger with some of the tons of food and water being donated for people impacted by the fire situation in the Williams Lake region. Gaeil Farrar photoVolunteer Monica Marklinger with some of the tons of food and water being donated for people impacted by the fire situation in the Williams Lake region. Gaeil Farrar photo
Monica Marklinger (back left) and Sandy Fehr and Madge Struthers (front left) and Chantal Lambert are among volunteers receiving donations at the donation centre set up in the former Lake City Ford building on Oliver Street. Gaeil Farrar photoMonica Marklinger (back left) and Sandy Fehr and Madge Struthers (front left) and Chantal Lambert are among volunteers receiving donations at the donation centre set up in the former Lake City Ford building on Oliver Street. Gaeil Farrar photo
Carla Friesen-Martin (left) and Janice Green prepare bags of food to last two people two days at the donation centre located in the former Lake City Ford building on Oliver Street. Gaeil Farrar photoCarla Friesen-Martin (left) and Janice Green prepare bags of food to last two people two days at the donation centre located in the former Lake City Ford building on Oliver Street. Gaeil Farrar photo
Donations of disaster relief supplies pour in to the lakecity
Salvation Army teams have come in from around the province to help people through the Williams Lake fire situation. Here Lolita Dunham from the Terrace Salvation Army (left) and Val Sheriff from the Nelson Salvation Army man the Salvation Army food truck parked outside the Resiliency Centre located in the upper level of Boitanio Mall. Free breakfasts, lunches and dinners are being provided for anyone in need as well as volunteers and support workers. Gaeil Farrar photoSalvation Army teams have come in from around the province to help people through the Williams Lake fire situation. Here Lolita Dunham from the Terrace Salvation Army (left) and Val Sheriff from the Nelson Salvation Army man the Salvation Army food truck parked outside the Resiliency Centre located in the upper level of Boitanio Mall. Free breakfasts, lunches and dinners are being provided for anyone in need as well as volunteers and support workers. Gaeil Farrar photo

Since the fire evacuation order for Williams Lake was rescinded last Thursday donations of food, water and personal care items have been pouring in to the lakecity.

The donations have been so generous that the former Lake City Ford building on Oliver Street has been set up to warehouse and prepare the donations for distribution, said Zac Pinette the centre’s co-ordinator.

He said they started preparing to receive the donations before the the evacuation order for Williams Lake was downgraded to an alert and people started returning home.

“After every big disaster there is no stopping the flow of generosity,” Pinette said.

He said more than 40 tons of bottled water has been donated along with juice, truck loads of non-perishable food, baby formula, baby diapers and wipes, laundry soap, personal hygiene products such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste.

“We are always on the lookout for hay and fencing supplies for ranchers and farmers,” Pinette said. Also, he said there is a need for cat and dog food, kitty litter, and food for chickens, pigs and other various farm animals.

“The donations are going out as fast as they come in,” Pinette said.

Teams of volunteers, some from other communities, are working to sort the donations for distribution.

Volunteers have been filling bags with enough non-perishable food items to last two adults for two days.

People were picking up the food bags at the donation centre for the first few days after the Williams Lake evacuation order was lifted but starting Wednesday the bags were available at the Resiliency Centre in Boitanio Mall where they are being distributed by the United Way and Salvation Army.

The supplies are basically things people need who haven’t been working for three weeks, he added.

Tuesday the congregations of four Sikh temples in the Lower Mainland sent up a truck load of donated non-perishable food items and supplies such as blankets.

“The support we have been receiving from all over the province has been very much appreciated,” said Mayor Walt Cobb who was there to meet the truck and thank those making the delivery.

Wednesday Pinette said the volunteers would be preparing pallets of food support for First Nations communities in the region with the priority being given to the communities hardest hit by wildfire activity and evacuation orders.

The donation centre is open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours are subject to change.

Pinette said the donation centre has a mandate to operate for another week and perhaps longer if there is a continued need for assistance and handling large volumes of donations.

He said the City of Williams Lake and Cariboo Regional District are partnering with the local ministerial association, the United Way and Salvation Army to distribute the donations with support from other organizations such as Telus.

The Salvation Army and United Way both have booths set up at the Resiliency Centre located in the upper level of Boitanio Mall where returning evacuees can register their return with the Red Cross and pick up a bucket of cleaning supplies for their homes along with personal care items and food support they may need.

The Salvation Army also has a food truck set up just outside the Resiliency Centre where anyone can come and have breakfast, lunch and dinner.