Three Penticton organizations team up to help collect donations and send in helping hands for Princeton disaster relief

More flood cleanup coming

Casey Richardson

Penticton Toyota, the Penticton Indian Band and Westhills Aggregates have teamed up to help Princeton flood relief efforts, calling for the community to donate items in need for the residents.

The Toyota team approached the others to help grow their efforts, hoping to see a widespread area of donations and volunteers.

“We're just trying to raise some awareness and calling on the community to donate some items that can be used for the cleanup, so shovels, heaters, PPE, dehumidifiers. Any equipment that would help these people be able to get back into their homes and make life in any way, shape or form somewhat easier,” Larry Pidperyhora, GM of Penticton Toyota said.

After floodwaters swept through town on Nov. 14, many homes were destroyed, leaving a wreckage of ruined furniture and damp muddy homes behind.

On Wednesday, Canadian Armed Forces troops arrived in town to help with sidewalks and sandbags.

Toyota in Penticton has been trying to rally donations for the community, including important items like mops, fans, and grocery cards, which can be dropped off until Saturday.

“The Town of Princeton and its members, their community has been very good to us. We want to do what we possibly can to help out. And it just felt like the right thing to do for sure, given the circumstances and what they're going through.”

The PIB will also be collecting donations of food supplies, water and pet supplies on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

“I know as an average citizen myself, I'm always interested in how I can help and even a small donation can go a long way. So the Penticton Indian Band chief and council community and Emergency Operations Centre touched base with Toyota and we will be accepting donations at our community hall located on the reserve,” said Tabitha Eneas, lead for the PIB Emergency Operation Centre.

“People are in need, and we are in crisis and when we are in crisis, it's really important to wrap around one another, to help us through these things.”

When Toyota reached out to Westhills Aggregates, Operations Superintendent Chris Ingel said the company knew the natural thing to do was to step up and help.

“It doesn't matter how far we are up and down the valley, we're all neighbours, we're all part of one big community. We need to band together,” he said.

“It shouldn't have to be just through tragedies or natural disasters. So unfortunately, it just seems to be the worst case scenario when you want to shine through for each other.”

Westhills Aggregates will be bringing down the dump trucks to haul whatever trash or debris residents need taken away. They will also be supplying a skid steer, to help collect all the silt and debris off the roads to clear a path.

PIB fire department staff will be heading out with a fire department vehicle to help transport the donated goods to the area as well.

“Our prayers are with everybody and we are wrapping everybody in love who are affected. Just please remember that you're not alone and there are people that care,” Eneas added.

More Penticton News