Staff at the Oakland Community Association (OCA) are feeling grateful for community help in the last day or so, after news of their building’s blown hot water tank and the resulting flood hit social media this week.
Executive director Mira Laurence said Wednesday the community has rallied behind this non-profit in the hours since.
“We’re incredibly grateful and touched. It’s been an outpouring of support,” she said. “I’ve got crayons coming through the door, new colouring books, people have really been stepping up. We’re getting lots of calls.”
Staff came in Tuesday morning to find water everywhere, she said, and the centre has been closed for most programs this week other than some out-of-school care. Since then, cleanup has been ongoing, with a dehumidifier running constantly and tallies being done of supplies and equipment lost that are used for its out-of-school programs and camps.
Laurence said the OCA will be creating a wish list for needed items soon and posting it on their website at oaklands.life. Besides its daily and weekly care and recreation programs, the OCA has spring break camps starting March 15.
The City of Victoria replaced the hot water tank and covered installation costs, as it owns the building, OCA staffers were shocked when a local plumber volunteered to buy and install a new tank. They’ve also had a donation of desks from a local business.
As of Wednesday morning approximately $5,000 in donations had been given to help out, Laurence said, and many people unable to donate cash have offered their volunteer time.
To donate financially, visit canadahelps.org and to donate items, call 250-370-9101 to arrange dropoff at the centre at 1-2827 Belmont Ave. next to Oaklands Elementary School.