Volunteers at the Willow Park Church Help Centre complemented the services provided by the Emergency Support Services (ESS) in Kelowna, working hard to help Merritt families displaced by the devastating floods.
Pastor Jordan, one of the lead volunteers, shared stories with us of people who received vital support at the centre.
“A 65-year-old couple and their dog couldn’t get back to their house. They had been living at a friend’s trailer, where they couldn’t even take a shower,” he said. “They decided to come to Kelowna and look for help here. They arrived with no money, food or clothes, and received new clothing from the Help Centre and hotel and food vouchers from the ESS.”
In moments like this, it is beautiful to see our communities come together in solidarity. An incredible number of people have volunteered or donated their treasured personal belongings.
“We had an elderly gentleman who brought a coat that had belonged to his father,” said Pastor Jordan. “We had a lady who donated her parents’ clothes, which were stored in a closet for a long time as she wasn’t ready to let go, but then decided that this was the perfect destination for them: to help neighbours in need.”
Meanwhile, a 14-year-old girl arrived with her mom after they were forced to leave their home at a moment’s notice.
“They had lost everything to the floods,” explained Pastor Jordan. “Even in the face of such struggle, this young woman immediately asked how she could help. She wanted to be a volunteer.”
Many of the evacuees arrived with teary eyes, yet hopeful hearts. The generosity of the community contributed not only to fill the material void, but also the emotional, said Pastor Jordan.
“They know they’re not alone.”