On Friday, September 21st, the city of Ottawa / Gatineau was hit by two separate tornadoes which damaged or destroyed several hundred properties, and have left many people across the region homeless. Luckily, injuries were minimal, but some have lost everything. The efforts thus far have been focused on making the affected areas safe. Ottawa/Gatineau residents have always been extremely generous, and there has been considerable confusion on how best to help out as our amazing community rises to the occasion.
The foremost thing to note is that residents are asked to stay away from affected areas so official crews and residents can get to the work of recovery. Here is a list of the many ways you can help:
- The Canadian Red Cross is accepting financial donations online, by phone, at 1-800-418-1111
- Donations of clothing, furniture or other household items in Ottawa should be dropped off at Salvation Army thrift stores or request pickup of larger items by calling 1-613-247-1435 ext. 228 There is an immediate need for:
- Non-perishable food;
- Toiletries / toothbrushes;
- Baby clothing/supplies;
- Pet food
- The Ottawa Senators is running a city-wide GoFundMe Campaign that has raised over $60K so far.
- Consider donating cash and non-perishable food items to the Kanata Food Cupboard, the Parkdale Food Center or to the Ottawa Food Bank.
Neighborhood-Specific Relief Efforts
Immediately following the event, there have been several Facebook groups set up to organize relief. They have been organizing them into one, currently called “Dunrobin Disaster Assistance Group”. After the merge, it will be renamed “Dunrobin Community Center / Tornado Relief”. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/495699914239057/)
There is an official GoFundMe Campaign that is monitored by the Dunrobin Disaster Relief team.
The Kanata Food Cupboard is running point on food donations to the Dunrobin / Kinburn area.
Cleanup in Kinburn is still being coordinated. You can find more information by following their Facebook Page.
- For Arlington Woods the most up-to-date info can be obtained by following counsellor Keith Egli’s Twitter @KeithEgli
- Hot meals are being handed out at Manordale Community Centre at 68 Knoxdale Rd Ottawa. Volunteers are encouraged to come in person.
- They are trying to organize hot meals for the Tanglewood area. You can email the city councilor’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org .
- In Gatineau, the city is encouraging donations of “clean clothing in good condition, personal hygiene products and non-perishable foods” to be dropped off at the former Sears location at the Galeries de Hull on Boul. Saint-Joseph.