When members of the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations (CACA) learned about the extent of the devastation being caused by this summer’s wildfires in the B.C. Interior, they knew they had to do something to help those whose lives and homes were – and soon would be – impacted.
In particular, reports coming from Lytton – which all but entirely burned to the ground on June 30, following three consecutive days in which the small town of 250 recorded the highest temperatures in Canadian history – left CACA members heartbroken. As a result, an emergency meeting was held on July 3, and it was decided that fundraising for wildfire victims would begin immediately.
“The CACA has always been focused on helping communities,” says Wei Renmin, Chairman of the CACA. “We’ve helped raise funds for victims of other fires in past years, both in B.C. and Alberta. As soon as we found out from the news that people had lost their homes, we started fundraising.”
To date, more than 100 CACA members have raised in excess of $45,000 for wildfire victims. But residents of Lytton and other communities that have been devastated by wildfires still need the public’s help. For this reason, the CACA has established special channels through which anyone can donate to the Canadian Red Cross. Instructions follow at the bottom of this story.
Fundraising is a key component of the CACA. In fact, it was established in 2008 expressly to help raise funds for those impacted by the Wenchuan earthquake in Sichuan, China. Since then, the CACA has raised more than half a million dollars for various worthy causes, including several hospitals throughout the Lower Mainland, victims of past years’ wildfires in B.C. and Alberta, and more.
“This has always been a primary purpose of the CACA,” says Renmin, “to help our communities and people affected by tragedy.”
The CACA is an alliance of more than 150 Chinese associations, its members composed mainly of new immigrants from Mainland China. It lists its mandates as “unity, mutual assistance, dedication and prosperity.” “Our job is to spread the message,” says Renmim of the CACA’s fundraising. “We’re here to help Canadian communities.”
To make a donation to the Canadian Red Cross British Columbia Fires Appeal, click here. Alternately, call 1-800-418-1111 (toll-free) or text ‘SMS FIRES’ to 45678. To learn more about the Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations, visit ca-ca.ca/en.