The B.C. government recognizes the overwhelming generosity of British Columbians and the various organizations who are pulling together to help those affected by the wildfires burning in various areas throughout the province.
Anyone wanting to provide assistance to those affected by the wildfires has a variety of ways to do so.
The Canadian Red Cross is supporting the Government of British Columbia in providing relief in areas affected by wildfire. A British Columbia Fires Appeal has been opened for Canadians who wish to help those in need. Donations will help provide immediate relief, such as cots, blankets, family reunification and financial assistance for food, clothing and personal needs. Beyond meeting immediate needs, your donation may also help re-entry and go toward more long-term recovery, resiliency and preparedness. Learn more and donate: https://donate.redcross.ca/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1951&ea.campaign.id=74010&_ga=2.230698520.660466246.1499791310-1147234407.1499791310
The Province of British Columbia strongly encourages all evacuees to register with the Canadian Red Cross, even if aid is not required. Registering will allow family and friends to know the whereabouts of loved ones and that they are safe. It also allows the Canadian Red Cross to contact people directly as more information and assistance become available. To register, please contact the Canadian Red Cross at 1 800 863-6582 or online: http://www.redcross.ca/how-we-help/current-emergency-responses
British Columbians also can contribute to a number of other organizations who are supporting the Province and local authorities in providing assistance to those affected by the wildfires:
- CanadaHelps: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/crisis-relief-centre/2017-british-columbia-wildfires/
- Food Banks BC: https://www.foodbanksbc.com/
- The Salvation Army: https://secure.salvationarmy.ca/registrant/donate.aspx?eventid=225767&langpref=en-CA&Referrer=http%3a%2f%2fwww.salvationarmy.ca%2f
- United Way: http://www.unitedway.ca/
- BC Liquor Stores: http://www.bcliquorstores.com/store/locator
Municipalities and evacuation centres may not be able to accept or manage material donations from members of the public or businesses. The Province is developing a plan to manage assistance that has been offered and to organize donations going forward. Information on that will be made available in the coming days.
Tips for donating carefully:
- Avoid giving cash or using wire transfer services. Cheques should be made out to an organization, not an individual.
- Donations made online should only be done on secure websites.
- When asked for donations (over the phone, through an email or in person), ask the canvasser for identification or printed information about the charity.
- Beware of high-pressure tactics. A legitimate charity will still be there tomorrow. Feel free to take the information and sleep on it.
- Do an internet search for the charity’s name and background.
- If you have concerns about the activities of a charitable organization, including its fundraising practices, call the Canada Revenue Agency: 1 877 442-2899.
Keep up-to-date on the provincial wildfire situation: www.bcwildfire.ca
Information on evacuation orders and alerts: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca
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