Over $411,000 has been raised by over a dozen GoFundMe campaigns following a fire that almost completely destroyed the B.C. interior town of Lytton.
Some witnesses, among the approximately 1,000 people who managed to escape, say the fire swept through the village in 10 minutes. Evacuees have taken refuge in other parts of the interior like Lillooet and Merritt but had to leave much behind, some left without a shirt on their back. British Columbia's chief coroner says preliminary reports suggest two people died.
Among the most successful GoFundMe campaigns created in last two days include “Helping our friends in Lytton” which so far has raised $191,000 and was created by the Savage Society and the 2 Rivers Remix Society.
“The funds will be used for both immediate needs and Re-establishment and kept aside for these purposes,” the campaign states.
Another fundraiser, “Lytton First Nation Community Emergency Support,” has collected $187,286 from over 1,800 donors.
“We are still trying to account for all our people, and countless family homes were lost. We are raising funds to support community members during this horrible emergency and to help us rebuild,” reads the campaign’s description.
Communities across Metro Vancouver are coming together for the cause as well. An engine and six firefighters from the Burnaby Fire Department are being sent to Lytton to help in the aftermath. A similar team from the Delta Fire Department is on its way to Spences Bridge to assist the BC Wildfire Service. Also in Delta, the Ladner Baptist Church has been secured as a drop-off location starting today (Friday, July 2).
Residents of Squamish have already filled a truck and trailer with donations which have already been driven to Lillooet on Wednesday.
Katzie First Nation is collecting donations to support the Lytton community. Please see letter from Chief George: pic.twitter.com/AHECAZQdpk— SD42 Aboriginal Education (@SD42ABEDNEWS) July 2, 2021
The Katzie First Nation is also stepping forward to support the Lytton community by offering to deliver donations via U-Haul to the various support centres.
In a letter from the Nation’s Chief Grace George, the following donations are being sought.
- Toilet paper paper towels
- Flats of water
- Flats of Gatorade
- Juice boxes
- Canned fruit and veggies
- Children's games and activities
- Shampoo conditioner
- Body wash
- Hand soap
- Towels fans
- Toothbrushes toothpaste floss
- Non-perishable food items
- Feminine products and wipes
- Cash donations
- Clothing for men women children clean or new folded and labelled
- Shoes various sizes
- Various baby items, diapers, bottles, wipes, Etc.
- Paper cups/paper plates/cutlery/napkins
- Totes with lids
- Flashlights batteries
- First aid kits
- Gift cards/gas/food/stores
- Pet food/animal carriers/cat litter boxes/leashes
- Toys for various ages craft supplies
- Allergy medicines
- Tylenol and Advil
Donations can be dropped off at 10946 Katzie Road (Katzie Youth Center) in Pitt Meadows B.C. on the following dates:
- Friday, July 2nd between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Saturday, July 3rd between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
- Sunday, July 4th between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Additional dates will be added if the U-Haul is not full.
Volunteers with the 2 Rivers Remix Society will also be on-site at the Massey Theatre today (Friday, July 2) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to collect fire relief donations.
With files from Castanet, Canadian Press