News & Updates
February 2020 |
Disaster Aid Canada Collects over $60,000.00 for Australian Bush Fire Relief
Disaster Aid Canada Transferred $60,000.00 for Australian Bush Fire Relief Program on February 7, 2020

THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE AMAZING PEOPLE WHO DONATED TO THE BUSH FIRE APPEAL - Disaster Aid Canada (DAC) has received over $60,000.00 Canadian in donations from across Canada for Australian Bushfire Relief. On February 7, 2020 we made a wire transfer to a special fund set up by Rotary Australia World Community Services. Matching grants may double the impact of the original donations.
Rotary Clubs in the affected areas will be able to apply for rebuilding funds for local projects. Rotary Clubs from around the world are responding to the crisis and additional money will be distributed soon.

“Several projects have already been established for specific bushfire areas around Australia. The Australia Rotary District Governors have formed a committee which will decide where the funds are to be distributed. We would typically utilise local Rotary Clubs on the ground in affected areas to identify those families, Individuals and small businesses in most need,” said John Stockbridge, National Communications Manager for Rotary Australia World Community Services Ltd (RAWCS)
Update on the Bahamas and Hurricane Dorian
The work in the Bahamas is far from complete. The process of rebuilding will take years and there are whole communities that have been abandoned as there are no materials or people to help with the rebuilding process. The Abaco Islands and Grand Bahamas are particularly hard hit. People have been living in our tents since September 2019 and they are worried as the upcoming 2020 hurricane season approaches. DAC, DA UK&I and DA USA are working on a longer term plan to help with the rebuilding process.

As the new Executive Director for Disaster Aid Canada (Sept 1, 2019), I learned a lot from our relief project in the Bahamas after Hurricane Dorian struck. Our contacts with Rotary Clubs in Nassau and Freeport made all the difference. We only sent materials that were asked for and needed and we knew that we had reliable partners on the ground who were able to oversee the distribution and set up.

Our relationship with Disaster Aid USA paid huge dividends because of their experience in the area and skill with logistics. Our support from UPS with the shipping of the materials was invaluable, they the goods for no charge through their own charitable program. Our work in the Bahamas confirmed my commitment to only send materials that were needed, only work with trusted partners and then to follow up and make sure the relief we had sent had worked out. In all Disaster Aid Canada sent close to $62,000.00 in relief supplies to the Bahamas.
Gerry Beltgens - Executive Director
News Clip:
Rebuilding in the Bahamas will take years
" Much of the population in Abaco evacuated or were displaced. And now they are largely unable to return because there is no housing," explains David Eisenbaum, with the charity All Hands And Hearts. "We need thousands of volunteers. There's a tremendous need for manpower and the recovery is limited by this shortage of labor. " - CNN
Dresses and Jerseys
Handmade Dresses and Soccer Uniforms
Recently we received donations of 300 handmade dresses from seamstress Lorraine Williams of Maple Ridge and 80 soccer jerseys from the Mid Island Soccer Club on Vancouver Island.

This is not our normal area of expertise but due to our connections with Rotarians we have been finding some great homes for them.

Elena Agala of Richmond is going to a Filipino orphanage on a relief mission and is taking over 100 dresses with her. Don Mercer and his wife Susan have taken 30 dresses and 20 soccer jerseys to a project with the indigenous people of Guatemala.
Heather Pastro who works with the Nyaka HIV/AIDS Orphans Project will be taking 75 dresses and 40 jerseys to the mission in Africa. Ladysmith Interact students will be taking a selection of dresses and Jerseys to Cuba in March 2020.
DAC CHAMPIONS
If you or your Rotary Club is interested in being a Champion for Disaster Aid Canada or you are interested in supporting Emergency Preparedness
in your community please contact us at admin@disasteraid.ca
DAC and Ladysmith Search and Rescue plan an Emergency Preparedness Hub
This is still in the early stages but Ladysmith Search and Rescue (LSAR) and Disaster Aid Canada (DAC) have developed a proposal for an Emergency Preparedness Hub for the Ladysmith, North Cowichan (pop. 40,000) region.

The proposal includes a request to the town of Ladysmith for the use of a 5,000 sq ft "surplus" building on the south end of town that the two organisations would renovate to include storage for equipment and materials, administration and training facilities.

This is not the first time that DAC has been involved in Emergency Preparedness. We worked with the Rotary Club of Sooke to provide 10 custom E.P. kits including tents to be located in strategic areas around the Sooke and Jordan River area. We worked with a large condominium and townhouse project in Victoria to supply E.P. kits around the community and we are working with the Rotary Club of Ladysmith to provide 5 E.P. kits to the Town with the support of the Ladysmith Interact Club.

One of the benefits of the project is that it would give DAC a local storage facility to keep our inventory of tents and other relief materials safe and also reduce our cost of warehousing in the City of Victoria.
Disaster Aid Information
Disaster Aid Canada (DAC) has managed more than $2,000,000.00 in donations since its incorporation in 2010. Disaster Aid Canada is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Ladysmith. The Charity began operation 2004 and as Disaster Aid Canada in 2010.

Disaster Aid Canada is a member of Disaster Aid International. DAI is an official Collaborative Organisation of Rotary International.

Some of our DAC projects have included:
  • Bahamas - Hurricane Dorian - Tents and supplies
  • Australia Bush Fire Relief - $60,000.00
  • Malawi - Hospital and orphanage supplies
  • Iraq - Water filtration systems
  • BC Fires 2018 - Container and trailers of supplies for evacuees
  • Caribbean - Hurricane Irma - Relief kits and tents
  • Fort McMurray 2016 - Container and trailers of supplies for evacuees
  • Many other projects over the years

Disaster Aid International (DAI) was formed in 2010 with Disaster Aid partners in Australia, Canada, USA and the UK & Ireland. 
Disaster Aid International’s mission is to provide relief to help rebuild communities in disaster hit areas anywhere in the world, primarily in the form of temporary shelter, home repair kits and water filtration systems or other non-food aid. Current members are:

  • Disaster Aid Australia
  • Disaster Aid UK and Ireland
  • Disaster Aid USA
  • Disaster Aid Canada
  • Disaster Aid Malaysia
  • Disaster Aid Europe (Czech Republic
  • Disaster Aid Brazil
  • Disaster Aid Uruguay
  • Disaster Aid India
  • Disaster Aid New Zealand