As people in Merritt, British Columbia, return to their homes after the catastrophic flooding and storms, a local Muslim community has delivered some comfort to the beleaguered city.
“They had a very heartwarming welcome,” said Hamid Butt, secretary of the B.C. Muslim Association’s Kelowna chapter, The Daily Courier reported.
Severe rainfall has caused mudslides and debris flow in British Columbia late November, resulting in the closure of many highways, streets, and schools in British Columbia’s interior and southern regions.
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Thousands of people were forced to evacuee their homes, staying in more than 20 evacuation centers across the province.
Returning to their homes this week, they were met by Muslim volunteers who gave away a a truck filled with clothes, food, diapers, cleaning products and 25 heaters to the beleaguered city on Sunday after raising $10,000 in donations from congregants of the Kelowna Islamic Centre.
The Muslim effort was greeted by members of a Merritt church, which operated as an emergency center.
“The pastor, Jim (Caruso), said ‘we are very grateful and you won’t believe this but it will be all gone by tomorrow.’ They’re that desperate in need for anything and everything, so it felt very good that we were part of that lending hand,” Butt added.
Muzaffar Ali drove the truck to Merritt as three other members travelled with him and in two cars.
“When we saw the news we decided to help,” said Ali, who is local coordinator for the charitable organization Islamic Circle of North America.
“ICNA always helps people in Africa, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and in Canada. Because (disaster) is happening in our own home.”
Along with ICNA, several Islamic groups have been offering help to evacuees over the past three weeks.
The Islamic Relief Canada urged people to donate to B.C. flood relief at: https://www.islamicreliefcanada.org/…/bc-floods…/
The BC Muslim Association also encouraged its members to donate to their BC Flood Disaster Relief Appeal at https://www.paypal.com/donate/