In this year of unprecedented wildfires from coast to coast, PWRDF (Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund) is establishing a fund specifically for in-Canada emergency response.
This is true to our roots. PWRDF was born in 1958 out of a compelling desire from Anglicans to offer assistance to families in the wake of a mine disaster in Springhill, Nova Scotia.
In recent years, Canada has experienced an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes and floods, affecting thousands of families and individuals. Some communities have been particularly devastated. Time and time again, Anglicans have generously offered their financial support through PWRDF.
Currently, PWRDF accepts donations when a disaster happens, then works with the dioceses affected by the emergency to disburse the funds. This new fund will allow PWRDF to respond quickly when a diocese asks for support, rather than wait to raise funds for individual disasters.
Parishes have expertise in outreach, information-sharing and volunteer engagement, and they have an awareness of their communities. Churches know where and how to reach the most vulnerable, those overlooked by others. Clergy and parishioners may be some of the first responders in an emergency, and they are often among those who will still be there during mid- to longer-term recovery activities.
While PWRDF cannot respond to every emergency in Canada, it considers the severity and impact of the situation, response of other agencies including the government, availability of insurance coverage, and the extent to which additional support is needed. It looks to fill gaps not covered by others, avoiding duplication of services.
Dioceses can access the new In-Canada Emergency Fund by requesting short-, medium- and longer-term support. This could include funds for emergency accommodations, gift cards to purchase food, water and essentials, counselling and post-trauma supports, or locally identified long-term recovery activities to help rebuild community assets and increase community resilience.
Together, we can make a significant impact in the lives of people in Canada affected by disasters, offering solidarity and hope for those who have lost so much.
Anglicans can donate directly to the In-Canada Emergency fund at any time online at www.pwrdf.org or by cheque to PWRDF at 80 Hayden St., 3rd floor, Toronto, ON, M4Y 3G2. Please indicate In-Canada Emergency in the memo field. Anglicans can also donate during business hours by calling 416-822-9083 (or leave a message toll-free at 1-866-308-7973).