Shuswap evacuees needing support and a place to stay are being helped in Salmon Arm, and organizers are sharing where donations are being put to the best use.
The main emergency centre in Salmon Arm is located at the 5th Avenue 50-Plus Activity Centre, 170 5 Ave. SE. This location is where evacuees are being asked to register to ensure they get supplies and support. On Sunday, Aug. 21, the centre put out a call asking for volunteers with a FoodSafe certificate to help in the kitchen and people to answer phones and help direct traffic, replacing overwhelmed volunteers that have been assisting for days.
However, the centre is accepting very few, if any, donations of food, clothing or any other supplies currently, as they are overwhelmed with things like fruit, vegetables and bottled water and don’t have space to keep these things, said Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) staff.
The work that is being done first is organizing evacuees and getting them checked into hotel rooms and to restaurants to eat, and the money for these accommodations is coming from government funding, said the SEP.
Monetary donations can be sent at shuswapfoundation.ca/our-funds, by selecting Shuswap Community Foundation Emergency Response Fund.
People being sent to hotels will likely have need for food and supplies once they get settled, said staff, or once they’re set up for camping in the various areas in town accommodating RVs and trailers. People don’t often want to carry extra stuff with them away from registration sites, said the SEP.
An official list of where donations are most useful was shared by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Emergency Operation Centre.
Diapers, baby food and other children’s supplies can be donated to the Shuswap Children’s Association at 240 Shuswap Ave. NE Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Second Harvest, at 360 Alexander St. NE, is accepting fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and non-perishables Tuesdays 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesdays 2-6 p.m. and Fridays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Salvation Army Salmon Arm ministry is offering showers, laundry, food, N-95 masks and additional support at the Lighthouse Community space, at 441 3 St. SW, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. As well, the organization has partnered with the Canadian Mental Health Association’s local branch to offer mental health support and other services through the coming week and will accept food donations.
The Eagle Valley Community Resource Centre is open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1214 Shuswap Ave. in Sicamous, also accepting food donations.
Toiletries and hair care can be dropped off at Destination 246 Hair and Spa, 246 Shuswap St. Salmon Arm Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Red Barn in Sicamous is also currently accepting food and toiletries 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
Shuswap Total Fitness, located at 2450A 1oth Ave. NE Salmon Arm, is offering its showers and sauna from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for firefighters and evacuees to freshen up, providing towels and shampoo.