N.B. non-profit organization in desperate need of volunteers
Published Sunday, March 12, 2017 2:46PM ADT
Last Updated Sunday, March 12, 2017 2:56PM ADT
A charity that has helped dozens of fire victims over the past five years now needs help itself.
Big Hearts Small City founder Jason Surette says he is desperately looking for volunteers to help him help others.
He says while the demand for his help has grown, demand to volunteer has not.
“It's not just our organization that struggles with it. It's a lot of others too, so it's important that people give back,” said Surette.
He started Big Hearts Small City to help fire victims in Moncton find immediate housing. Surette expanded to help victims in Fredericton and Miramichi over a year ago.
He then started paying NB Power bills for people whose power was going to be shut off. But after five years, Surette finds himself being the one reaching out.
“We've noticed there's been more fires in the last year, so a lot of people don't have tenants insurance and that's kind of where we step in,” said Surette.
Big Hearts Small City helped over 70 fire victims find housing, clothes and furniture in 2016.
Chris Stackhouse was one of them. His family lost everything when their basement apartment was gutted by fire.
Stackhouse says at the time, he couldn't believe the support his family received.
“If it wasn't for Jason. we never would have went anywhere,” Stackhouse said. “We were lost we had nowhere to go.”
Stackhouse says he and his family are on their feet less than a year later. He even started a new business and says he owes it to the community and Big Hearts Small City.
“That man goes 24 hours a day. You call him and he's there,” said Stackhouse.
Surette was in Miramchi Friday looking for volunteers. He's hoping more people will reach out, with a goal to helping others.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.