Canadians give generously to help in B.C.

Note: The following appeal is now closed.  You can support our ongoing work by donating to the Canadian Red Cross


As Canadians watched forest fires blaze across TV screens, families in Kelowna, B.C. were either evacuated or helping those who were. The city pulled together as perhaps never before, and the buzz phrase was “people are good.”

Within hours on Saturday morning, volunteers were pouring in to reception centres to help. Red Cross rapidly trained 400 volunteers, and they in turn registered more than 24,000 people. People register in a disaster in order to access the help they need – food, shelter and other essentials – and also to provide a link with loved ones. Red Cross helps connect family and friends who are separated in a disaster through its Family Reunification program.

All over Kelowna, hand painted signs express gratitude. To firefighters, to the RCMP, to volunteers and to agencies like Red Cross who are here to help. Gratitude – as well as care and concern – is also expressed through financial donations.

“The response from Canadians has been incredible,” says John Richey, Director of the B.C. Southern Interior Region of Red Cross. “We’ve seen an outpouring from individuals, from families, and from companies. We’re thrilled to be able to help those who want to give and those who need our help.”