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Seniors join forces to help victims of wildfires

Mission seniors pool their money to send donations to Penticton
A group of Mission seniors living in The Cedars, joined forces to help those impacted by the BC wildfires. With help from staff, the group pooled together some money to purchase much needed supplies. The items have now been shipped to Penticton where they will be distributed to anyone who needs help. / Submitted Photo

The ongoing BC wildfires have been making headlines across the province and the country for the past month.

As firefighters and volunteers continue to battle the blazes, the whole province has been captivated by the stories of homes being lost and families evacuated from their communities.

Such devastation has touched the hearts of BC residents and raised concerns for relatives who live in the affected areas.

Donations have flooded in from across the country from people who just want to help.

Residents at The Cedars in Mission are no exception.

Last week, the group of seniors collected $450 to purchase food and other items to send up to those who need it most.

“We were just acknowledging that a few of our tenants have family members affected by the fires, specifically Alvin Hand, so we thought we wanted to do our part,” explained Mandi Strickland, social activity co-ordinator at The Cedars.

Even those residents who didn’t have family member in the fire areas, wanted to show support for Hand and other families impacted.

The seniors living at The Cedars, 58 in all, pooled their money together and raised $450.

“When you think about us being a subsidized, assisted living building, that’s pretty deep for them to be able to offer that up,” said Strickland.

“It was a really a warm feeling for us.”

Once the money was collected, it was time to go grocery shopping. They looked for the best deals possible and amassed a large supply of food and other products.

The seniors then got to work packing up all of the groceries in preparation to send the up to Penticton to help with the relief efforts.

Strickland said Tricia Schweers, executive director at the Cedars and Maria Litjens, LPN were instrumental in making the process a success. But, she also noted it was the “generosity of our amazing seniors” that pulled it all together.

The Cedars is a provider of assisted and supportive living housing for seniors. It is owned and operated by Mission Association for Seniors Housing, a non-profit society known for its commitment to provide affordable housing for seniors in the District of Mission.

The Cedars is a partnership between BC Housing, Fraser Health Authority and the Mission Association for Seniors Housing.

If you want to donate to the wildfire relief efforts, the Canadian Red Cross has opened up its donations page. Money will go towards anyone devastated by the wildfires, including in 100 Mile House, Ashcroft, Princeton and Little Fort.

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