People across the West Kootenay are responding to a Trail family’s call for donations to help Albertans left destitute after devastating floods in Calgary and its outlining areas last week.
John Howell, wife Teresa and daughter Trina felt a call to duty this week, and have rented a 53-foot trailer to park outside their Glenmerry home in hopes of filling it with household goods and non- perishable food items to send to flood-affected areas next week.
“We’ve been on the phone all morning to find out the best place to send the trailer,” said Howell on Tuesday.
“I have been told that the Calgary Drop-in centre has over 800 people in it right now who have been left with nothing.”
Howell chose that destination, which is in a temporary site in northeast Calgary, and Overland West Freight Lines has offered to transport the trailer to the destination for free.
Wednesday, as Howell and his family waited for the trailer to arrive, they were busy hauling clean and slightly used wares to the curb.
“Please make sure whatever you donate is clean because I won’t have time to sort through the bags,” he said.
The Howells have already received loads of goods including diapers, strollers, cribs, and baby clothes.
The shelter needs pretty much everything but has requested one item in particular, said Trina Howell.
“Steel-toed boots are needed for not only people in the shelter but the volunteers who are showing up to help with the clean-up,” she said.
“A lot of people are showing up to help wearing flip flops, but need to have safe footwear as well.”
Response to the Howell’s request for donations has been so overwhelming, that they in turn are now asking for help.
“We have had calls from all over the Kootenays from people wanting to donate but not able to get to our house,” said Howell.
“Now we are hoping people with trucks will donate some time to make the pickups and bring the items to us.”
Donations can be dropped off at the Howell’s residence, 3462 Marigold Drive in Glenmerry.
For more information call 368-8755 of visit Howell’s facebook page, “Koots for Calgary.”
Trina, mother of twin girls, has taken the plight of High River’s graduating class to heart, and is asking for donations of prom dresses.
“The kids in High River have worked so hard to graduate and everything was washed away before their prom,” she said.
Howell is asking for dresses and accessories to be packed separately from other donated goods.
“So far the response to give has been absolutely inspiring,” she said.
“If we can give those kids a prom, then this has all been worth it.”