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  • Oct20Wed

    Army Assists After Tornado Hits Barrie

    Thousands of dollars donated to Army for tornado relief. October 20, 2021
    Filed Under:
    Territorial News, Emergency Disaster Services
    Emergency disaster services volunteers provide support in a tornado-affected neighbourhood
    Emergency disaster services volunteers provide support in a tornado-affected neighbourhood

    After an F2 tornado ripped through Barrie, Ont., this summer, The Salvation Army quickly stepped in to provide support to those affected by the disaster.

    Not long after the tornado touched down, concerned citizens began dropping off water, food, clothing, toiletries and other items to Saint Gabriel Catholic School.

    “The gym at the school was filled with donations—the community responded with amazing generosity,” says Major Stephanie Watkinson, executive director, Barrie Bayside Mission.

    The Salvation Army was responsible for sorting and handling the distribution of the donated items to those impacted by the tornado. An emergency disaster services (EDS) team from Barrie ran the reception centre at the school, while EDS personnel from Orillia, Ont., were on-site to provide food, drinks and emotional support to those affected. The team took time to listen to people’s stories and to provide words of encouragement and support, connecting with more than 150 people in about two hours.

    In addition, individuals who were renting homes in the tornado-affected area contacted The Salvation Army looking for a place to stay and were given temporary housing in hotels.

    Major Watkinson notes that more than $30,000 in donations was received at either the mission or Barrie Citadel, not including online donations. The TELUS Friendly Future Foundation also donated $20,000 for tornado relief efforts.

    “We know families will be needing support for several months and we are prepared to assist these families in the weeks and months ahead,” Major Watkinson says. “Barrie is a caring and giving community, and this disaster has brought out the best in people who want to help out and provide support.”

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