A local Facebook group is collecting gift cards to help Sumas Prairie residents who have been impacted by the recent floods.
The group, “Helping Sumas Prairie Farmers – Flood Support,” was started by two women – Jimi Meier and Hallie Jacobs – who live within the flood zone.
Meier said she left when an evacuation order was issued for the area, but her husband and sons stayed behind to take care of their property.
When she returned, they had been working for three days straight and were cold and wet.
“Our water had been shut off; we hadn’t been able to wash clothes. My farmers needed warm, dry barn clothes,” Meier wrote.
But the cost of purchasing five coveralls, two flannel jackets, socks and gloves was $700 – “not money that we wanted to put out in a middle of a catastrophe.”
Meier realized that her family wasn’t the only one needing those kinds of supplies.
She and Jacobs started the Facebook group to collect gift cards that could be distributed to families affected by the flooding.
Since then, dozens of donations have come in – not only of gift cards, but cash and products, including 1,000 pairs of gloves from Watson Gloves and 300 pairs of boots from Kamik in Quebec.
The leadership class at Chief Dan George Middle School raised $700 towards the cause.
Meier and Jacobs have been going farm to farm to distribute the donations.
“The support from the community has been overwhelming. The amount of gift cards that have come in has far surpassed our expectations,” Meier said
Donation boxes have been set up at several local businesses where people can deposit gift cards for groceries, clothing, restaurants and other goods.
Mark’s (by Costco in Abbotsford) is offering 20 per cent off gift cards purchased for those affected by the floods, as well as 15 to 20 per cent off purchases for those directly impacted.
Other locations with donation boxes are the Lowe’s and Starbucks locations by Costco, Shoppers Drug Mart on Whatcom Road, Reddhart Workwear at 34150 South Fraser Way, and Work n Play in Chilliwack.
Gift cards are also being accepted via e-transfer. For more information, visit the Facebook page or email email@example.com.