Flood Relief – Meeting the goal means $48,780.48 per day, or $2032.52 per hour, or $33.87 per minute

Basement flooding in Thunder Bay - Photo by Nathan Ogden
Photo by Nathan Ogden
basement flooding
Photo by Nathan Ogden

THUNDER BAY – The goal of raising $5,000,000.00 for the Thunder Bay Flood Relief has raised about twenty percent of the needed funds. That means to meet the November 30th deadline for matching funds, there remains a lot of work to do.
Taking the effort and breaking it down gives an overview of the scope of the effort that is needed.

Raising $4,000,000 by November 30th means there are 82 days to raise the money needed.

That works out to $48,780.48 per day, or $2032.52 per hour, or $33.87 per minute.

Back in June, when there were 170 days to meet the deadline, the target was $29,411,76 per day, $1225,49 per hour, and $20,42 per hour.

Each minute that goes by where that $33.87 is not raised, actually means the overall need to raise funds per hour rises too.

In this case of trying to help our neighbours, the enemy is time. First time since the disaster, and second time left to raise the funds.

The more time that passes since the disaster, the less urgency to raise the funds is perceived by the residents of the city. Some residents impacted by the flood almost appear left waiting as the fundraising continues.

Raising the funds from within the residents of Thunder Bay means in effect each resident in our district would have to ante up $33.33 each. It has been suggested by some that the City should simply pay out the money from the reserves built up by the city. That would eliminate the provincial matching funds option and mean a payout from the reserves of the full $15,000,000.00.

Perhaps what is needed are for the funds being raised to start being used to help families, and the help be recorded and shared in pictures, words and video to demonstrate the real need. During the flood the images were stark, and the interest was massive in what was happening.

Since then, coverage has slowed, and the fundraising seemed to many residents to have taken a summer holiday. There were several efforts, but not a great deal of visible action by the Fund-Raising Committee.

If you were to look at New Orleans, seven years since Hurricane Katrina, there are, despite progress on many areas still empty homes and neighbourhoods in the Ninth Ward of that city. There are stories in the East End of homes that may end up abandoned, as the homeowners can’t live there, and cannot afford to pay to live elsewhere as their homes are repaired.

Inspiring people to help means sharing the real stories, and the real pain and need that people in our city are still in deep need. It won’t be easy, and each hour that passes makes the task harder.

The critics who are taking apart the efforts of the Fundraising committee are not helping either.

One can hope those individuals have made a contribution, or are helping our neighbours directly. Otherwise like many critics all they are doing is opposing the work that is needed to be done.

For the Fundraising Committee, the goal in addition to raising funds might be sharing the news, offering timely totals, and encouraging people by sharing the progress.

The alternative might be for the city to pay the entire shot of $15 million, and the critics would sure be after many on Council and Administration if that were to happen.

One can be certain that the Fundraising committee is doing the best they can, but the results suggest they need help from the public.

James Murray

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