The Monkey Tree Pub is heading a campaign to raise money for flooding victims in Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson.
Jen Vornbrock, co-owner of the establishment began putting together an initiative to raise money after she made a call out for ideas on Facebook on May 8.
“It is awful and I can’t even imagine,” she said of the flooding situation. “We have some connections in the Fort Providence area where Jean Marie River people are being displace and another contact in Fort Smith where Fort Simpson people are being sent.
“It is the beginning of a journey, but with a lot of grey in the world, we just thought that we could do something positive. Let’s take care of our neighbours.”
Vornbrock said that she reached out to the City of Yellowknife to obtain a lottery license to start a 50/50 draw to begin selling tickets in a week’s time.
She thinks that if she can sell 1,000 tickets for $50 each, a quick start can be made to direct money directly to those who need it.
Prizes for the draw were still being developed as of Monday at noon.
On Monday, Vornbrock was in the process of setting up an account with the Bottle Depot under ‘Flood Relief’ where people are expected to be able stop in and donate bottles.
Some other companies in town have been reached to help with collecting bottles, noting the NWT Brewing Pub and the Raven Pub as participants, she said.
Identifying items that are most needed is still a work in a progress, she added.
“At the end of the day this is about how best to make sure the right items get to the people that need it,” she said.
“I have made a couple of calls with chiefs in the different communities and I hope we can figure out a way to best connect with them on what is needed. All of this is happening quickly.”
She said she wants to avoid raising money to purchase items that may not be needed.
Elisa Hazenberg, a Yellowknife resident who was born and raised in Fort Simpson, is closely affiliated with the Salvagers United Facebook group. She is working closely with Vornbrock and Shelly Hardisty on how best to identify items through a new
public Facebook group called Communities Coming Together launched Monday morning.
“It is a public group and we want to hear from those in the communities who have been evacuated or who are remaining in the communities and what do they need and how can we transport goods to those in need,” she said.
People can publicly post what items are needed or other ways they can help, she said.
“So far the group has been very successful after only creating it (Monday morning) and we have gotten a really good response where people are publicly posting items and what is needed and relief to these.”