In July 2017, a lightning storm sparked wildfires in British Columbia that led to the evacuation of approximately 14,000 people. PWRDF responded immediately with a grant that was used for food vouchers, toiletries, bus fare, clothing etc. PWRDF funding has also helped keep community centres open like the Stemete7uw’I Friendship Centre at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church that has been offering support in the wake of the fires.
In 2018 the PWRDF grant continued to support activities of The Friendship Centre. After the wildfires, monthly dinners hosted by the centre doubled in size, largely due to the mental, social and emotional trauma that the fires caused. The funding was also used by the Cathedral in Kamloops made space for people to gather, have a coffee, a snack, talk, and relax in smoke free air in a city that was inundated with smoke. The parishes in Prince George responded similarly. Expenses also included toiletries. Recognizing the increased risk of suicide, two Anglican Churches, St. Peter’s Williams Lake and St. Timothy’s 100 Mile House, received $5,000 each for suicide prevention training in their communities. ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) is a two-day course that educates community leaders and those in helping professions. Read More:
Suicide prevention programs designed for post-wildfire stress
Relief funds keep B.C. Friendship Centre open after wildfire
PWRDF sending funds to Territory of the People to aid BC wildfire
BC Wildfire Update