We are so fortunate thanks to you!
This article was published on December 10, 2021.
The early days of winter in the beautiful Shuswap region bring wonderful light over amazing landscapes. The picture, above, is from the shoreline of Salmon Arm looking north and east. As I write this second update on disaster relief and emergency measures in the past two weeks, another winter storm is gathering that may bring more snow and rain on the weekend. We are getting ready for the worst even as we continue to offer comfort and hospitality to our neighbours – both those who are suffering the impact of recent weather crises and also those who are suffering from ongoing crises (including poverty, hunger and homelessness).
Donations over the past two weeks to our emergency appeal have come from across Canada and now amount to more than $40,000. The mail, another casualty of recent weather crises, continues to bring in donations small and large – every one of them so wonderful! We will provide a full accounting in the coming weeks and, in the meantime, here is a brief update:
We have sheltered families and singles from climate crises in November (and earlier, from wildfires, in August). All the evacuees have returned home. We remain ready, as we have been throughout this year, to offer shelter and comfort.
We continue to provide tasty and nutritious breakfasts, lunches and dinners every day of the week for people who are hungry in our region. We started this work in the early days of the pandemic and have continued daily deliveries of fresh meals since then. In recent days, the numbers of meals has been growing. With the Christmas season approaching, our dedicated food services team are preparing not one but two community dinners (turkey and all the trimmings). Our biggest challenge has been securing enough food. Supply chains have been disrupted by recent weather disasters and there have been days when little or no food supplies reach our kitchen. Another big challenge is the huge and skyrocketing cost of food. This past week, our food services manager Karrie deftly managed to secure enough turkeys to feed 600 people. We got a good deal from the food supplier – but the cost is still very high.
We are reserving some of the emergency relief donations we have received to cover immediate and recent food and shelter costs.
We are also setting aside some of the donations for a special reserve fund for the next (sadly, inevitable) climate crisis to ravage our region.
One of the major priorities for many of the people and places that have been hit by weather catastrophes in our part of the world is support for recovery and development. This is especially true for First Nations communities, which have been hard hit. We are joining with others in our region to engage with local people and communities in supporting initiatives that they have identified as critical.
This is also a priority for some of the disaster relief donations we have received – recovery efforts are a necessary part of the response to the climate disasters triggered by human-induced climate change.
We are grateful to be able to provide practical and immediate support, as well as intermediate and long-term support for recovery. Thanks to you, our many donors, we are able to support our neighbours now and into the future.