A Victoria-based restaurant has organized a fundraising event to run throughout Saturday in an effort to raise money for the people of Beirut in Lebanon.
Wrap N Roll, located at 1885 Fort St in Victoria, has announced on their Facebook page that they will be selling falafel wraps by donation on Saturday, with all proceeds going towards victims of the massive explosion that took place in Beirut earlier this week.
“We will be doing a fundraiser this Saturday, August 8th to support the Lebanese people affected by last week’s devastating tragedy,” reads the post on the company’s Facebook page.
Wrap N Roll says they will be taking donations in exchange for falafels between 12-7 p.m., highlighting that all proceeds will go “straight towards the humanitarian effort going on in Beirut.”
The massive blast, which occurred on Tuesday, August 4, flattened Beirut’s busy port area, sending glass flying and collapsing walls, floors and balconies for kilometres, killing at least 135 people and wounding about 5,000, according to Lebanese officials.
Officials added dozens of people are still missing, and about 300-thousand people — or more than 12 per cent of Beirut’s population can’t live in their homes.
The blast is believed to have happened when a fire touched a stockpile of 2,750 tons of highly explosive ammonium nitrate that authorities left sitting in a warehouse for years – despite a customs official’s repeated warnings.
Earlier this week, the Vancouver Island Lebanese community expressed the grief they were experiencing following the events that took place at home.
“The magnitude of the explosion at the port of Beirut was a tragic event,” said CFB Esquimalt Base Commander Navy Capt. Sam Sader. The base leader is a native of Beirut and went to school blocks away from the port where the explosion took place.
“It’s very personal. Of course, there are memories of beautiful places during childhood and you see the pictures of devastation and it’s something that hit very close to home,” added Sader.
In addition to private organizations offering support, Canada has so far pledged $5 million in emergency aid after Tuesday’s blast in Lebanon’s capital. International Development Minister Karina Gould said the federal government will continue to help the country when it begins to rebuild as well.