Friendship Centres in Alberta responding to wildfires, seek support
OTTAWA, May 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Alberta Friendship Centres in surrounding wildfire communities and directly impacted communities are responding to the needs of wildfire evacuees. Support includes food, lodging, clothing, and all other essential needs. An increase of food and housing insecurity over the pandemic has further increased the need for supports to respond to the displacement of peoples due to the wildfires.
One Friendship Centre in 12 hours received 180 applications requesting food and personal care hampers, with around 500 individuals being served. Friendship Centres remained open over the weekend to provide support to incoming evacuees, with High Level Friendship Centre acting as an evacuation centre for around 130 people for the foreseeable future.
Friendship Centres provide immeasurable support during emergencies and times of need. Responding Friendship Centres are in need of financial supports. We are asking those that are able to, to please donate to support Alberta wildfire response, including to the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA) – https://anfca.com/donations/. All donations made to ANFCA in May of 2023 will go to Albert Friendship Centre’s supporting wildfire evacuees.
“Being from Alberta, I have seen first-hand the devastation that the wild fires have had on our communities. As we do, Friendship Centres have come together to work with all levels of government to make sure people are safe.” said Kelly Benning, NAFC Board President, “It is already clear that this is not just an urgent situation, but many people will need support over the long term. We are hopeful that communities across Canada will show the generous way we come together in difficult times like these for now and as we recover.”
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The National Association of Friendship Centres is a national network of Indigenous-owned and operated civil society, not-for-profit, and service delivery organizations across Canada. The NAFC was established in 1972 to represent a growing number of Friendship Centres at the national level. Acting as a unifying body for the Friendship Centre Movement, the NAFC represents a network of over 100 Friendship Centres and Provincial-Territorial Associations across Canada.