Tens of thousands of British Columbians have been displaced as wildfires rip through the province, which was declared under a state of emergency in early July. Seeing how hard so many communities have already been hit, Lacey Developments jumped to action just last week.
“As a homebuilder, we know this is not just a ‘today issue’. Rebuilding communities will be a tremendous feat,” says Lesa Lacey, business manager of Lacey Developments, a home builder and renovator and member of CHBA-Fraser Valley.
When a couple of staff members asked to borrow company trucks to drop off donations to those affected by the fires she said, “let’s fill them up!” After reaching out to her CHBA-Fraser Valley board members and posting a call for donations on Facebook, the initiative put in motion by Lacey Developments was inundated with community support.
Just hours after the request, CHBA-Fraser Valley board members, clients, and locals who had never met Lacey or her company were dropping off pallets of bottled water, Gatorade, diapers, formula and more. In one evening, their team packed up roughly 600 square feet of goods – the size of a small apartment.
Connecting across communities
While their crew has been incredibly supportive – making personal donations, sorting donations from others, and driving goods to evacuation centres in Princeton and Kamloops, B.C., the connections they’re making with others in the community allow them to help even more.
Last week a building supplier reached out to Lacey Developments to offer to fill a semi-truck with donations for delivery, and the volunteer-based North Fraser Fire Department is collecting donations for those affected by the wildfires.
Relying on her CHBA network, Lesa reached out to Rob Lemire, president of the CHBA-Central Interior board of directors. Rob walked right down to the evacuation site to get the proper details to coordinate the delivery.
“Everyone knows somebody who’s lost their hunting cabins, their homes or everything,” Lacey says. “They’re eager to help out.”
Donations are being dropped off to the main donation centre in Princeton and several locations in Kamloops including the Interlakes Volunteer Fire Department, Kamloops Food Bank and a stockyard where many displaced animals are currently boarded.
While Lesa says many people enjoy donating in-kind materials and seeing them go straight to those in need, she believes it’s also crucial to support residents hit by the wildfires by donating to the Canadian Red Cross in British Columbia and Yukon.