Morgan Cross / News staff
Peninsula Co-op stepped up as one of Vancouver Island’s collective Co-op retailers to provide relief funds to communities displaced by BC wildfires this month. The eight Co-ops, including Peninsula, Mid-Island, Port Alberni, Comox, Tofino, Ucluelet, North Island and Hornby and Sointula pooled together $25,470, which was then matched by the Federated Co-operative for a total of $50,940. This donation is received directly by the Canadian Red Cross through its BC Fires Appeal.
“The unity between the Vancouver Island Co-ops, at a time of great need in our province, has been remarkable,” said Dave Hoy, CEO of Peninsula Co-op and Chair of the Vancouver Island Co-op Management Group.
“Many of our member-owners, customers and staff have close friends and family affected by the fires, and we feel that this donation is simply the right thing to do.”
The donation will go toward food, cots, blankets, shelter and other supplies for those forced by wildfires to evacuate their Interior communities. Red Cross volunteers are also on-hand to meet evacuees upon returning to their homes to provide clean-up supplies, fire recovery guides and financial assistance. As of July 23, the Red Cross had provided $600 to over 10,700 households. An extra $300 is given to families when they return home, and a repeated $600 for every 14 days those evacuees remain forced to stay out of their communities, for a maximum of three contributions. Though tens of thousands of evacuees returned home this past week, an estimated 20 thousand remain displaced.
Peninsula Co-op donates hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to local charities, organizations, youth groups, student scholarships and community projects, deciding to extend its philanthropy this year to include BC’s critical wildfire situation.
“Co-ops are owned by the communities they operate in,” said Hoy. As a community, he added, it is right to donate during disaster.