In July 2017, the entire city of Williams Lake was ordered to evacuate as a result of a quickly growing fire hazard. Over 800 wildfires have destroyed over 4,000 km2 of forest and over 300 buildings around BC between April 1 and August 1, and the damage is expected to increase.
The fires around Williams Lake are estimated at 134,000 hectares combined. In the city, its entire population–around 11,000 people–were forced to leave. Though the order has recently been lifted, residents are coming home with limited access to supplies and services.
This emergency has affected many people we know–friends, family, and tenants and their families–so we contacted the Salvation Army in Williams Lake to ask how we could help.
They said they were seriously in need of baby supplies.
If you had to suddenly leave your home for an undetermined amount of time, you can imagine how having a young child would make the situation even more stressful. Coming back to an intact house would be a relief, but services and supplies are scarce after an evacuation order. Gas stations are closed, grocery stores aren’t well-stocked, and you aren’t likely to easily find diapers.
So we decided to donate baby supplies. Thanks to a generous discount from Loblaws City Market in West Vancouver, we were able to put together a ‘care package’ for Salvation Army to distribute to evacuees in Williams Lake:
- 6900 diapers
- 80 tubs of Huggies baby wipes
- 120 bottles of Enfamil A+ infant formula
- 100 cans of Heinz baby food
Maple Leaf started in BC over 30 years ago. This is our home, and the people of BC have been good to us. With a state of emergency in our own backyard, it makes sense to give back however we can.