Few Islanders even knew this group existed while Hurricane Fiona was barrelling toward our Island. Back in the spring, a small group of volunteers organized a food drive to help keep the community fridge stocked. But it was the group’s response to the devastation Fiona left behind that introduced the name Charlottetown Mutual Aid into common conversations.
Three of the group’s core volunteers made a 45-minute presentation Monday to the PEI Legislature’s standing committee that is investigating the province’s response to the storm. The presentation highlighted some of the group's successes in reaching people who needed help, but it also highlighted gaps volunteers observed in government’s immediate response to the storm, providing financial aid to Islanders, and housing. (Those links take you to slides in their presentation)
Since Fiona hit, the group was able to raise nearly $60,000 – $43,000 from community donations, and $15,000 through a grant provided by the United Way of PEI. Aside from monetary contributions, Islanders donated an estimated $60,000 worth of items.
To reach Islanders in need, the group launched a website where they received more than 300 requests for help. To reach even more people, volunteers hit the streets on a door knocking campaign that found more than 800 people needing assistance. Volunteers also served between 1,100 and 2,200 hot meals. In total, Charlottetown Mutual Aid has provided direct support to over 4,000 people since September 26.
Charlottetown Mutual Aid’s post-Fiona efforts are ongoing, and support is still needed. The easiest way to reach the group is through their Twitter profileif you'd like to help out, request support, or make a donation.
WATCH: Here's a YouTube link to watch the full presentation 🎞️
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