A wildfire near the Kátł’odeeche First Nation on May 14, 2023 is seen in a photo submitted by Wally Schumann.
The Yellowknife True North Rotary Club, in partnership with Hay River’s Rotary Club, is calling on Yellowknifers to part with their gently used furniture.
The goods will go to members of Kátł’odeeche First Nation whose homes suffered serious damage in this past May’s devastating wildfire. More than a dozen buildings, including a community centre and the band office, were completely destroyed.
According to Chief April Martel, KFN leadership has already replaced members’ urgently needed appliances such as fridges and stoves, as well as important items such as beds and bedding. But for members who lost everything, there’s still a lot missing.
“This year’s wildfires were devastating all over, including for members of the Hay River Reserve,” said Alex Gresl, the First Nation’s chief executive. “Many lost their homes and everything they had. Through the kindness of community, they have received donations for clothes, kitchenware and beds, but still need help.”
In a press release, Gresl offered this list of welcomed donations for the furniture drive:
Couches and chairs of all styles and sizes
Side tables and occasional tables
Kitchen tables and chairs
Chests of drawers
Desks and small bookcases
Furniture can be dropped off at Best Movers, located at 207 Kestrel Road. The moving company has offered to provide a container for shipping the goods. President Marc Whitford of the North Slave Métis Alliance committed $1,000 toward moving costs.
“First there was flooding last year, and now fires this year – it’s just unimaginable,” said True North Rotary Club’s Marilyn Robak.
“When Heather Love of the Rotary Club in Hay River told me what was happening, I just had to jump right in to help.”
Anyone with questions about the initiative can contact Robak at 867-444-9785 or James O’Connor at 867-445-6317.