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More than 20,000 Nova Scotians have registered for wildfire financial aid

The fires in Halifax and Shelburne County have been devastating for the province of Nova Scotia. So far, 8,200 households and more than 20,000 people have registered for aid.

“To date, we have raised $1.7 million through our specific forest fire appeal,” says Bill Lawler of the Canadian Red Cross.

There are a myriad of needs and a number of aid organizations stepping in to help as quickly as they can.

A week after the fires became a concern, the process of distributing funds is still being coordinated. A lot of charities are raising money and dispersing those funds effectively takes time.

“The impact will be quite different from household to household and that’s what we will be working to do. Before we start to provide further assistance, we need to connect with those who have been impacted and we will be doing so via an email survey to all of those households who have registered with us,” Lawler says.

The United Way of Halifax is another group putting in long hours to help. In addition to accepting donations, they are proactively raising money.

Their big event is a benefit concert taking place Friday night at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, featuring a number of well-known artists, including Matt Mays, Joel Plaskett, Classified and Jenn Grant.

“We will be providing funds to service providers in the community who can work them directly with individuals to help them meet their needs, so we work with a vast number of service providers,” says the organization’s strategy director, Sue LaPierre.

“It’s important to note that this money will also support the community of Shelburne where the other fires are happening. We may be United Way Halifax but we’re going to be able to respond to any areas of the province where there is impact from the fire.”

Smaller scale efforts are also underway. Sandra Drover owns a clothing store and she is offering last year’s stock free of charge to anyone directly affected by the fires.

“I honestly can’t believe what these people have to be going through. It’s completely devastating,” Drover says. “The fact that we can help in a small way and maybe put a smile on somebody’s face because these articles are new and not worn and we can help,” she said, holding back tears.

Rounding out a true community effort to help others in their time of need.

The federal government will be matching all funds donated to the Canadian Red Cross dollar-for-dollar until June 29.

For the latest Nova Scotia news, visit our dedicated provincial page. Top Stories

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