The community has been absolutely inundated with volunteers in the 10 days since the Boundary flooding began, some of those, perhaps, a little unexpected.
Take Ryan Hamilton-Clark, a 15-year-old student from Highroad Academy in Chilliwack. He was in Grand Forks last week helping the Salvation Army prepare meals for evacuees.
Hamilton-Clark, who was also taking photos for his school yearbook, was one of three students from his school to volunteer. Don Armstrong, the Salvation Army emergency disaster coordinator for the Chilliwack area, emailed the school asking for some students to help out for a few days in Grand Forks.
“I got an email from out vice-principal … I talked to some classmates, and by the end of the day three of us were signed up,” he said.
Hamilton-Clark said they arrived in the area on Thursday night. Friday morning they were up and at ‘em early, prepping breakfast of scrambled eggs and bacon.
Armstrong for his part said the team goes wherever help is needed, and came to Grand Forks after a few days in Penticton. They were not the first Salvation Army team in the area, but were one of several who have been cycling in and out over the course of the flooding.
The students have been helping in food preparation, making coffee and helping with the Salvation Army trucks. In between, they did a bit of sandbagging.
“It was a good opportunity and school was particularly boring,” he said with a laugh. “[But], It’s nice to be out here doing something. It’s sad to look at the news and think ‘oh I can’t do anything from out here,’ and then, two days later, I’m out here and doing something.”