The Calgary chapter of Islamic Relief Canada is trying to fill an 18-wheel truck with donations for people affected by the floods in British Columbia by next week.
Staff and volunteers worked together to fill one-third of the truck at the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre in northeast Calgary Friday afternoon. Kohawar Khan, Alberta fundraising manager for Islamic Relief Canada, said she’s hopeful Albertans will help fill the remaining two-thirds by Wednesday.
“They are dealing with adversity and we need to do what we can do best, so it wasn’t a huge thought process for us. We’re here to answer the call right now,” Khan said. “Alberta always comes through for everybody, I think we can come through again this time.”
So far, the team has spent $3,000 to purchase items like canned soups and vegetables, shampoo, soap, bottled water, detergent, mops, buckets and more using funds raised for the B.C. flood response.
The team is also asking Calgarians to donate items for the truck.
Anyone who wants to help fill the truck can drop off donations at the Akram Jamaa Islamic Centre (2624 39th Ave. N.E.) lobby or call or text the Calgary donations co-ordinator at 403-993-7557. Islamic Relief Canada is also taking financial donations for the B.C. emergency response on its website, with $79,240 raised so far.
The Insurance Bureau of Canada estimates the insured damage caused by flooding in British Columbia last month at $450 million, calling it the “most costly severe weather event in the province’s history.” At the peak of the emergency, almost 15,000 people were forced from their homes.
“B.C. is our neighbour, and right now we’re privileged that we’re able to help them and we’re going to do our best,” Khan said.
The semi-trailer truck was previously in Edmonton, where Islamic Relief Canada’s Edmonton team and local community members collected items for British Columbians. The next stop for the truck will be Merritt, B.C., where the goods will then be given out. The truck is scheduled to leave Calgary on Dec. 15.