Fort McMurray residents deliver much-needed supplies to evacuees

By Chad Klassen
July 10, 2017 - 12:30pm Updated: July 11, 2017 - 12:18pm

KAMLOOPS — The Thompson Nicola Regional District is currently overwhelmed with donations, and volunteers - so they are asking for residents to please go through their official channels before purchasing or donating items.

MORE: TNRD hopes to coordinate volunteer response through Facebook

With up to 10,000 evacuees across the province, and a large number of those affected coming to Kamloops, demand for supplies is high. But a group of residents from Fort McMurray arrived Monday morning to give back. 

"We needed to pay it forward. We needed to help out," said resident Tamara Laverdiere, who was among four Fort McMurray residents to delivered the items. "We know what B.C. is feeling right now, so we decided we needed to step up and help out, and pay back what they did for us last year."

The group loaded up four tonnes of donations from residents in Fort McMurray who were in the same situation a year ago when the town of 80,000 were forced to evacuate and many homes were destroyed.

They have brought everything from food to drink, and many other supplies people need. 

"We have a lot of water, and endless supply of water," she said. "We have Gatorade, we have energy drinks to keep people going. We have dry snack food, granola bars, chips. Just small things we can hand out. Protein bars. We have diapers, wipes, shampoo, deodorant, tooth brushes, tooth paste."

The supplies are being distributed to evacuees in hotels across Kamloops. They are also going to be brought to the Kamloops Food Bank. 

"We are to expect more donations from Fort McMurray, so what we're going to be doing at the food bank is we're going to be storing food there in a separate space that is going to be for evacuees only," said executive director of the food bank Bernadette Siracky. "Please come to the food bank and we'll be able to serve you and share the product people are bringing to you."

People wanting to donate items are asked to drop off items at the appropriate agencies. Food and drinks should be dropped off at the Kamloops Food Bank and clothing items to the Salvation Army. 

Additional firefighters from out-of-province streaming in