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Okanagan volunteers work around the clock to support evacuees

Click to play video: 'Okanaganers come together to offer a helping hand to evacuees'
Okanaganers come together to offer a helping hand to evacuees
WATCH: In uncertain and troubling times people come together to support each other as Sydney Morton tells us the Okanagan is no different. There's been an overwhelming amount of support for the thousands of people who have been forced to leave their homes due to the wildfires that continue to burn in the Okanagan Shuswap. – Aug 21, 2023

In times of crisis, communities come together to help.

The Kelowna, B.C., chapter of Khalsa Aid’s stockpiles have just been replenished by their neighbouring chapter in Vancouver.

“We have a booth set up in West Kelowna [at the Emergency Support Services Centre] there for the evacuees. We have food coming in there, hot food as well, items that anyone needs,” said Khun Khun.

“We have Gatorade, water, snacks, chips, granola bars.”

Khun Khun and her team aren’t the only boots on the ground getting goods and support to evacuees in need. Westbank Lions Club members are serving hundreds of people a day warm meals at Royal LePage Place.

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“The response from the people here at the evacuation centre has been wonderful, they are so grateful to have a little bit of sustenance,” said Leah Thordarson, a member of the Westbank Lions Club.

Meanwhile, volunteers at Mamas for Mamas are working around the clock to support evacuees and their families.

“Once you’ve gone to emergency services, you have registered and have your vouchers come to Mamas, and we will get you diapers, wipes, food, we will get you clothing, we have got new clothing for the kids,” said Shannon Christensen, founder of Mamas for Mamas.

“We want to make sure these families have access to some basic crisis relief.”

Of course, evacuees’ pets need to be fed and cared for and that’s where the Animal Food Bank comes in.

The Animal Food Bank is accepting donations of pet food, carriers, leashes and more at multiple pet stores across the province including Bosleys in West Kelowna.

“A lot of help being given right now is for the people but the Animal Food Bank is stepping in and the community is stepping in to give help to the pets,” said Madisyn Moreman, assistant manager at the West Kelowna Bosley’s location.

“A lot of the people that were evacuated didn’t have a lot of time, they only had enough time to grab what they needed for a week, but a week is gone now so we are stepping in.”

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There has been an overwhelming outpour of generosity to support the thousands of people who are on evacuation order and alert.

To make it easy for you to find those resources to either offer them or access them yourself, visit www.animalfoodbank.org

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