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Variety of methods for relief donations

Posted on July 16, 2013 by Taber Times

Looking to donate a closet full of clothes to those in High River? How about a garage full of supplies like tools and building supplies? For the meantime, aid agencies are still asking residents to give, but emphasize financial donations are the way to go right now.

“We’re taking monetary donations only at this point,” said Cpt. Pam Goodyear, division secretary for public relations and development with the Salvation Army. “We’re not able to accommodate donations of used goods, and I think every other agency will tell you the same thing.”

Goodyear added High River has been inundated with donations of items such as used clothes, as the Salvation Army is in the process of  sorting through the items which have been shipping to the flood- stricken community.

“They’ve had tractor-trailers of clothes show up,” said Goodyear.  

“It’s the monetary donations we need now so we can continue to assist them.”

She added a half-million dollars had been raised through the Salvation Army, according to the last number she heard, as Goodyear mentioned  

Albertans can donate through the website, http://www.salvationarmy.ca, by phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY or through texting HOPE2000 to 45678, whereby $5 will be donated to flood relief. Laura Veltman at the Red Cross, added the organization is also still taking financial donations through http://www.redcross.ca, or by phone at 1-800-418-1111.

She added about $21.5 million has already been donated.

“It’s been pretty busy all around,” she said, regarding the steady stream of financial support which has come in from Lethbridge residents.

The Mennonite Central Committee is also collecting funds through the Mennonite Disaster Service website at http://www.mds.mennonite.net/donate, as the MCC’s David Zentner added the organization’s thrift stores are not accepting items either.

“Cash donations are of course preferred. When we’re in the rebuilding phase, homeowners need to pay for the materials,” said Zentner, who added funds are needed to find accommodations for the MCC’s volunteer workforce, many of whom travel from locations hours away to provide their assistance. “We work with vulnerable homeowners and those with no insurance.”

He added the MCC has also received a number of calls from people wanting to donate items to those in High River, and said at this time, emergency personnel

in High River have been overwhelmed with goods, and are still in the process of sorting.

Aid agencies like the Red Cross, Salvation Army and MCC are not the  only way donations can be sent to High River, however, as Albertans can donate at RBC branches throughout the province, by giving to the Town of High River Disaster Relief Fund. Call 403-292-3372 for more information.

Tasha Giroux, RBC’s regional operating officer for Alberta and the Territories, said the bank also donated $125,000 to the cause initially, and chipped in an additional $85,000 recently through its volunteer program, which has seen employees put in a total of 323  hours thus far in High River.

According to Leana Ashbacher, manager of financial services for High River, the disaster relief fund has about $50,000 in it so far.

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