On Saturday, September 10th, Arnold Community Church hosted a neighbourhood block party to thank those who supported local residents during the November 2021 flood through their time, resources and generosity.
This party comes ten months after flooding ravaged Sumas Prairie and the community of Arnold, causing significant damage to farmers’ businesses and homes. Arnold Community Church quickly jumped into action, turning their parking lot into a transfer station just days after the flooding began. This quick action was all thanks to the suggestion of local community members who saw a need for residents to dispose of damaged goods. Before they knew it, residents were dropping off thousands of pounds of damaged furniture, appliances, personal belongings, etc. An incredible 1.1 million pounds of waste was collected at Arnold Community Church and taken to a commercial transfer station at no cost to residents.
Cam Stuart, the Lead Pastor of Arnold Community Church, says this would not have been possible without the physical and financial support of the following businesses that stepped up when their community needed support: O’Brien Bros., Arctic Arrow Powerline Group, Bell Rock Construction, Ibex Construction, GT Aggregate Commodities, Target Products and Tundra Developments.
In total, Cam estimates that the cost to run the transfer station was anywhere from $100,000 to $125,000, with $70,000 of that making up the disposal costs alone.
Not only did Arnold Community Church serve as a transfer station, but it also acted as a place of relief, connection, and hope during these difficult times. Residents would gather to grab food, chat, and provide support.
In the months following, Arnold Community Church also provided flood relief funds to impacted residents who experienced loss and damage to property due to flooding. The Abbotsford Community Foundation, the University of the Fraser Valley, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce are happy to have provided an Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund grant to support this cause.
After reflecting on this incredible level of community support, Arnold Community Church decided they wanted to thank their community. That’s why they hosted a community block party. The party included a short program by Cam to officially thank the community, followed by a BBQ dinner. For entertainment, guests enjoyed games and live music from the local band, Memphis Train. The community came together again but this time it was to celebrate their resilience and strength and the power of people supporting each other through difficult times.
Once again, the Abbotsford Community Foundation, the University of the Fraser Valley, and the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce were happy to support this block party event with an Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund grant.
To learn more about the Abbotsford Disaster Relief Fund, click here.
This story was written by and originally posted by the Abbotsford Community Foundation.