WATCH: Colwood couple who lost everything in a fire four years ago rally to help B.C. wildfire victims. Tess van Straaten reports.
Colwood’s Cora and Bryan Ringheim are doing what they can to help B.C. wildfire victims.
On Monday afternoon, they rented a big U-Haul truck to fill will non-perishable food items and emergency supplies that they will drive to evacuation centres in the B.C. Interior.
“It’s devastating,” Cora Ringheim says. “These people have lost their homes, their livestock, their livelihoods and it’s heart-wrenching.”
“I just thought it was a great idea and what better way to help out with something so terrible,” Bryan Ringheim adds. “People are losing everything they have.”
It’s a situation the Ringheims experienced first-hand four years ago, after a devastating fire at their Saanich home.
Fortunately, no one was injured but the damage was extensive and they say the community stepped in to help them when they needed it the most.
“We lost almost everything we owned and our community really rallied together to help us out as a family of six and this is our way of just having a little piece of pay it forward,” Cora Ringheim says.
The couple, who are taking time off work to do this, started a Victoria rallies for B.C. Interior evacuees Facebook page.
They’ll be collecting donations between now and Friday, when they hope to head to the B.C. Interior, and they say the response has already been incredible.
“It’s just fantastic,” Bryan Ringheim says. “We originally thought we’d go out there with my little trailer, I have a 12-foot trailer and I thought that would be it, but just the amount of support that’s come through in the last two days is just unbelievable.”
The truck rental was going to cost Cora and Bryan more than $600 but when U-Haul found out why they were renting it, the company offered to cover most of the cost.
U-Haul is also working with the Red Cross and officials say they’ve dispatched a number of trucks and resources to help with relief efforts.
The Ringheims say they’re overwhelmed so many people and businesses want to help.
“This is a big truck and I didn’t think we would have this big of a goal but I think we can do it,” says Cora Ringheim. “This community is big, our hearts are big.”
Depending on how much they collect, they may will more than one truck.
Collection Times & Locations
Tuesday, July 18 ? Legion on Gorge Road 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Wednesday, July 19 ? West Shore location TBA 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Thursday, July 20 ? Sandman Hotel parking lot 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Donations of non-perishable food items and emergency supplies such as first aid kits, eye drops, diapers, feminine hygiene products and toiletries as well as gift cards will be collected. No furniture or household goods. All cash donations should go through the Red Cross and can be made here.