Thank you to Mission residents

Following a fire at the Willows apartment building, residents were left with nothing

Editor, The Record:

An open letter to residents and community leaders of the District of Mission:

As the owner of the Willows apartment building that burned down on May 17, 2013, and on behalf of the tenants, I would like to say a huge and heartfelt thank you.

Thank you to the firefighters who first responded to the site, using your skills to successfully get all of the tenants (and their pets) safely out of the burning building. Thank you, Deputy Chief Larry Watkinson and your team.

Thank you to all the caring neighbours of the Willows who came forward to offer blankets and hot chocolate at 3:30 a.m.

To the community leaders such as the provincial Emergency Social Services, Hope Central, Victim Services, Salvation Army, Red Cross, the post office on First Avenue, Mission Community Services,  SPCA, RCMP,  Abbotsford/Mission Times, Mission Record, Ministry of Social Development,  District of Mission, etc. Thank you, everyone!

Thank you to building owner Kenny W. who let me use his building as a place to keep donated supplies which amounted to a mountain of goods. The donation of towels, clothing, and tooth brushes, etc. was so great that eventually we had more than enough and had to discontinue the call for help. How wonderful!

It was devastating for my tenants to lose everything that they had, most of whom had so little to start with. However, the support of this and surrounding communities has made a profound difference in the lives of many. The tenants really do appreciate all they were given and wanted me to express their gratitude. Thank you, donors!

Currently, everyone has found a place to rent or stay. Once they had a residence, they were thrilled to pick from the donations to set up their new home.

Despite this tragedy, it has been a privilege to witness such genuine generosity to those less fortunate. It was wonderful to personally see the joy it brought to those who gave and those who received.

Steve Yap

Mission