KAWARTHA LAKES-The Victoria County Disaster Trust Fund has announced it has dissolved.
The purpose of the fund was to alleviate hardships and provide extra assistance to victims. Assistance included a place to stay, food and clothing. The goal was to bridge the gap during the first 24 hours after a disaster, until organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross and/or insurance companies could be brought in. Fire dispatch would call A Place Called Home, who would dispatch a volunteer to meet with victims of a disaster. Volunteers would provide support in the form of vouchers to local businesses and a personal care kit.
In its prime, the group had upwards of 50 members, who would attend up to 30 fires in a single year according to the City. They fundraised through dances, fashion shows, mail-outs and other community outreach activities. At its core, the VCDTF was defined by neighbours helping neighbours, and local businesses supporting their communities.
Modern challenges led to a decision to dissolve the Victoria County Disaster Trust Fund. These challenges include finding accommodation, adapting a paper voucher system, recruiting volunteers, liability concerns, training and personal safety of volunteers and victims.
The group came to a consensus that disaster relief response needs to be in the hands of trained professionals. Directors of the VCDTF who founded the original organization in 1983 were recognized. Past and present members were thanked for their commitment to the community. CAO Ron Taylor announced that a new partnership agreement with Canadian Red Cross is in progress and will be presented to Council when it is finalized later this year.
The VCDTF Board decided to donate the remaining funds to A Place Called Home in appreciation for their support over the years.
Past and present volunteers, members of Council and the general public are invited to A Place Called Home (64 Lindsay St. South, Lindsay, ON) on Monday November 28 at 1pm where The Victoria County Disaster Trust Fund will present a cheque for $98,000.