Cole Walton and Mike Anderosov with their trailer full of donations on Tuesday, July 18. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Alberni residents reaching out to fire victims

One individual and a business are busy loading trucks with items for evacuees

A few Port Alberni residents are doing what they can to support those affected by wildfires.

Cole Walton of Beaver Creek is putting together a trailer of donations for the people in BC’s Interior displaced by forest fires.

Walton owns an 18-foot flat deck trailer, and will be heading out on Tuesday, July 18 at noon, delivering water and essentials for the people in need.

Walton has been collecting donations at his house at 6483 Beaver Creek. For those still interested in donating, Walton will be at Save-On-Foods at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday and Walmart at 10:45 a.m. before leaving at noon.

He is still looking for non-perishable foods, diapers of all sizes, toiletries and other essentials. “We have a lot of clothes already,” said Walton. “We don’t need any more of those. We would rather load up the trailer with things like water and other essentials.”

Walton will be headed to Kamloops, where he will meet up with a drop-off centre, and then possibly head to Prince George.

Walton used to live in Williams Lake and said his aunt currently owns a restaurant in the area, where she has been feeding firefighters and volunteers.

“I just felt like I should be doing my part, too,” he said.

Staff from PI Financial are also putting together a truck and trailer full of donations to take out to the Interior.

“At this point we’re saying the truck will leave when it’s full,” said executive assistant Diana Charlesworth. The hope, she added, is to leave in the next two weeks.

Anyone interested in donating to their effort can drop off items at CAP-IT, located between Alberni Chrysler and Alberni Toyota. The PI Financial front office, located on 5262 Argyle Street, will also take donations, or Gayle’s Fashions next door.

They are looking for non-perishable food items and water. “We’ve been in touch with people who are there and they’ve mentioned pet food,” said Charlesworth. “If you have something, donate what you can.”

She suggested filling up an unused purse with toiletries for a woman, or a shaving bag for a man.

“We have friends and family over there who have been evacuated, people who are fighting fires,” said Charlesworth. “We just felt it was time to do something to help.”

For more information, check out the Facebook page, “Communities with a Heart support those affected by BC Wildfire.”