When all is said and done, the Taber Cares organization will have raised approximately $70,000 to help flood victims around the province.
The Taber community caring about their neighbours past their own borders is nothing new, having undertaken initiatives to raise funds for crisis in Haiti and Japan.
But last Wednesday’s effort for Taber Cares Flood Relief was the first that was co-ordinated by so many different groups at once at the Taber Community Centre. The Christian Reformed Church, Taber Evangelical Free Church, St. Theodore’s Anglican Church, New Life Church, Knox United Church, St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Taber Lion’s Club, Taber Kinsmen, Taber Kiwanis, Taber Rotary Club, Taber Legion, Taber Ladies Auxiliary and Knights of Columbus and various community members at large, banded together to put on Taber Cares Flood Relief, a silent auction and spaghetti supper.
“I’ve been here 35 years, and this is the biggest co-operation I’ve seen happen,” said Kevin Fedoruk, one of 25 Taber Cares committee members.
The foundation is now in place, that if there is another cause to rally around, Taber Cares will be there.
“We have a committee established, we’ve established a logo, we have a bank account established if something happens where we will be here. We hope we never have to come together again, but it’s inevitable that bad things happen,” said Tod Pickerell, a member of the Taber Cares committee. “All the ground work has now been established.”
That ground work was highlighted last Wednesday with a swell of support by every avenue imaginable, be it the number of volunteers, residents taking in the supper and opening their wallets for the auction or the business community donations.
“The feedback I’ve been getting was it was an outstanding, well run night. It was a good feeling where people didn’t know what to do, but they knew they could contribute,” added fellow Taber Cares committee member Wanda Renner.
“I know I was overwhelmed, not just by the amount of money we raised, but by the number of people we had helping and serving,” added Pickerell. “It was tremendous.”
They say many hands make light work and there were many hands helping out at the Taber Cares Flood Relief Fundraiser. As with any new initiative, there is always chaotic times with small hiccups, but over 120 volunteers on the night, not counting many more preplanning, banded together to help their Alberta neighbours in need to pick up the pieces from flooding devastation with some much needed funds.
“We had over double the amount of auction items we were used to, so it wasn’t a simple thing to deal with,” said Fedoruk.
“For me it was everyone wanted to do something. We didn’t have to beat the bushes to find helpers,” added Heather Brantner, also a member of the Taber Cares committee. “From donating food, to donating (auction) items to donating cash, donating time. Everything…it was just phenomenal.”
In/out costs for Taber Cares was zero given that there were no overhead costs with all the donations of supplies and volunteer labour.
“We are a community that will help those in need,” said Pickerell.
That community is far more reaching than the Taber borders as well as Fedoruk tipped his hat to M.D. residents and the Hutterite community who donated numerous bushels of barley to be bid on.
“That support expanded rapidly. It’s always been there in the past, but I don’t think you really realize it until you take a step back and look at the bigger picture,” said Fedoruk.
Money raised will go towards The Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse with the caveat that the funds be earmarked for southern Alberta flood relief efforts.