When a Lytton, B.C. resident saw apples burning in his yard in late June, he knew this year’s wildfire season would be a problem. More than 1,600 hundred fires raged across the province, well into October, which is typically the end of wildfire season. Lytton was hit especially hard. In a matter of minutes, most of the town was burnt to the ground. Residents lost their homes and the land that had meant so much. Two people lost their lives.
Once MoveSnap became aware of the tragedy in Lytton, we wanted to help. Our core function at MoveSnap is to help Canadians move into and out of their homes with end-to-end support. We speak with renters and homeowners every day, and understand the pride and connection they have with where they live. To imagine an entire town being forcefully displaced—their lives uprooted with no place to go—ignited a collective feeling of responsibility to act.
Our team jumped into action and, as part of RBC Ventures, reached out to RBC Corporate Citizenship. We wanted to find a charity doing work on the ground to help the citizens of B.C—Lytton, specifically. The Red Cross was the most obvious choice. They have a long history of helping communities across the world work through natural disasters and other disturbances that displace large groups of communities, and they do an exceptional amount of work across Canada to support people in the immediate aftermath of disaster.
Lytton First Nation Band was our other partner. They were already a part of the community and lost their Friendship Centre to the wildfires. Friendship Centres, first established in the 1950s, are Indigenous owned and operated non-profit organizations that offer services to Native groups across Canada. These centres are pivotal to Indigenous communities, providing shelter and youth services, as well as continuing the fight for social justice.
To help these two organizations’ efforts to rebuild Lytton, MoveSnap donated $70,000 to the Red Cross. Our donation was matched by the province of B.C., who is matching all donations to the Red Cross until December 31, 2021.* Their match brought our total impact to $140,000. We also donated $30,000 to the Lytton Band to support their return to services and eventual rebuild.
We’re proud of our team at MoveSnap for initiating this effort. We know that nothing will replace what the residents of Lytton have lost, but we hope our donation can help rebuild a future town they can all call home once again.
We also recognize there’s still work to be done. If you want to help those impacted by the B.C. wildfires and floods, including Lytton, donate to the Red Cross or charity of your choice. Supporting local B.C. businesses can also make a difference to communities across the province in the process of rebuilding.
*To a maximum amount of $20 million.