Abbotsford — In response to the devastating damage caused by the mass flooding and mudslides in the Fraser Valley over the last week, the Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF), the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce (ACOC) and the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) have jointly established the Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund.
With homes, businesses, and infrastructure under water, the City of Abbotsford has declared a state of emergency and has issued multiple evacuation orders. Thousands of people have been displaced and their businesses and livelihoods disrupted.
The Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund will provide grants to local agencies involved in the disaster relief effort, as well as businesses that have been affected by these events. The effects of the flooding will be long term and funding will be needed for weeks and months to come.
ACF will serve as the donation hub, accepting donations, issuing tax receipts, and disbursing funds where resources are needed most.
“We want the Abbotsford community to know we will be here when it counts,” said Wendy Neufeld, Executive Director, Abbotsford Community Foundation. “We are here now, and we will be here later, as the community recovers and rebuilds. That’s why we’ve partnered with UFV and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce to establish the Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund.”
The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce plans to leverage its network and stakeholders in the business community to raise funds for those in crisis.
“Through the Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund, we will support our local community, farming families, agri-businesses, and other businesses impacted by these devastating floods,” said Katerina Anastasiadis, CEO, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce. “The flooding has also cut off transportation and supply chains to BC and other parts of Canada. We encourage businesses that are interested in receiving grants or related opportunities to contact the Chamber for more information.”
Founded by, and for, the community in 1974, UFV’s mission is engaging learners, transforming lives, and building community.
“UFV and this fundraising coalition are committed to doing our part to help those who are suffering as a result of the flooding. We all know someone who has been affected. This includes some of our students, staff, and faculty,” said Craig Toews, UFV Vice-President, External. “We are collaborating with our community partners and combining resources and fundraising expertise. I’m thrilled to announce that CI Assante Wealth Management has stepped forward with a generous donation of $20,000. And they have issued a challenge to all other financial institutions and businesses to match or exceed their donation.”
Steve Willems, Wealth Advisor with Assante Financial Management Ltd, said his company is pleased to support the fundraising effort.
“One thing our Abbotsford community has proven time and time again is that we are resilient and we come together in times of need,” said Willems. “Obviously, we have a long road ahead, but we are determined to be there for each other as we get back on our feet and resume normalcy.”
Donations to the Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund can be made online at https://abbotsfordcf.org/disaster
Abbotsford Community Foundation (ACF)
ACF serves Abbotsford by connecting donors with causes that matter to them. Together, we build, invest, and manage the gifts we have been given, for the long-term vitality of our community. We offer leadership and build bridges between the diverse groups that give our community life.
Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce (ACOC)
The Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce is a leading member-driven organization that improves the effectiveness of doing business. We have over 650 members and are the largest Chamber in the Fraser Valley, located in the fifth largest city in the Province. We are an Accredited Chamber of Commerce, meaning that we are a Chamber that is managed strategically and that our operations reflect national standards of business excellence and best practices.
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV)
UFV is situated on the traditional territory of the Stó:lō people. UFV is a fully accredited public university serving the communities and students of the Fraser Valley from a distributed network of campuses and online services. With more than 100 programs at numerous degree and credential levels, UFV makes it possible for students of all ages and backgrounds to pursue higher education. In 2020–21, UFV had an enrollment of more than 15,000 students pursuing diverse pathways of scholarship leading to community connections, reconciliation, and academic success. UFV is known in Halq’eméylem (the language of the Stó:lō people), as the House of Transformation.