The Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund has seen local groups University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and Abbotsford Community Foundation team up to provide help to locals. (Twitter photo)

The Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund has seen local groups University of the Fraser Valley, Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and Abbotsford Community Foundation team up to provide help to locals. (Twitter photo)

Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund established by local fundraising coalition

UFV, ACOC and ACF team up to help locals dealing with issues related to recent flooding

A number of notable local organizations have teamed up to create the Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund (ADRF).

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 ADRF.

The ADRF will provide grants to local agencies involved in the disaster relief effort, as well as businesses that have been affected by these events.

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,” stated Wendy Neufeld, ACF executive director. “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 ACOC to establish the ADRF.”

The ACOC plans to leverage its network and stakeholders in the business community to raise funds for those in crisis.

“Through the ADRF we will support our local community, farming families, agri-businesses, and other businesses impacted by these devastating floods,” stated Katerina Anastasiadis, CEO, ACOC. “The flooding has also cut off transportation and supply chains to B.C. and other parts of Canada. We encourage businesses that are interested in receiving grants or related opportunities to contact the chamber for more information.”

UFV has been involved in the local community since 1974 and will bring along community partners to help out.

“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,” stated 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,” he stated. “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 abbotsfordcf.org/disaster.

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