July 18, 2017


“United for BC Wildfire Recovery”


VICTORIA, B.C. – As fires continue to devastate British Columbia, United Ways across the province are working together and mobilizing their efforts through “United for BC Wildfire Recovery”, a national initiative preparing for the recovery and rebuilding of communities throughout B.C.


As Kamloops is one of the evacuation centres, United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo has been at the forefront of the onsite work. “Recovery from a crisis like the B.C. wildfires will be a long process spanning months to several years,” says Danalee Baker, Executive Director of United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo. “Recovery and rebuilding will look different for each community as well as each individual and family. It might be as simple as cleaning out a fridge, or as intensive as re-building a home from scratch or dealing with depression as a result of trauma. What will be the same for everyone is the fear and uncertainty that such a crisis brings.”


On July 18th, United Way is launching “United for BC Wildfire Recovery” – a campaign to raise funds for important social needs like finding permanent housing, food assistance, trauma and mental health supports, and rebuilding social infrastructure to meet community needs once the fires die down and residents return home.


The campaign will support recovery efforts in BC – both in communities experiencing fire devastation and those welcoming evacuees and providing much needed services. Recovery begins after the immediate crisis response, and it is a long-term process lasting several months to several years, focused on returning the community to an enhanced state of resiliency.


After donations are received, a United Ways of BC table, with representation from all UWs in the province including United Way Greater Victoria’s CEO Patricia Jelinski, will support each other in determining community investments from the “United for BC Wildfire Recovery” fund.


People can support “United for BC Wildfire Recovery” by making a donation or signing up to volunteer for recovery efforts at


United Way’s information and referral initiative,, has recently expanded to cover the entire province with live web-chat and enhanced, centralized wildfire information to augment current communication channels to support the immediate needs of those in crisis.


United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo has also convened a Social Recovery Task Force to synchronise efforts to focus resources on the greatest needs. United Way is working closely with long-time partner Red Cross and local regional districts to coordinate all activities related to recovery.


United Way inspires people from all walks of life to come together to raise funds, volunteer and spur policy and attitude changes that lead to lasting change in our entire region. We are working to make our communities the best they can be by focusing resources in poverty, children and youth and strong communities.


Follow United Way on Twitter: @uwgv




For more information, please contact:

Heather Skydt

Director, Marketing and Communications

United Way

Work: (250) 984-2269



Patricia Jelinski, CEO

United Way

Work: (250) 220-7364

Cell: (250) 217-8698




BACKGROUND: United Way ‘unites’ the generosity of people – business, labour, government and individual donors – with the skills, knowledge and expertise in the community to help those in need. This collaborative approach is building a stronger, more resilient community to serve current and future generations.


As the region’s largest annual funder of local social service programs, we assist charitable organizations by identifying and funding programs to address immediate needs and underlying causes of our community’s most pressing social challenges.

We are active in the community all year round through fundraising and community building, and provide multi-year funding to create a strong and stable network of local services. For 80 years we have served the community and raised over $160 Million.  Our work, as a community leader, is as relevant today as it ever was.  And with the ongoing support of our donors, we will continue to changes lives.

Filed under: united-for-bc-wildfire-recovery, united-way