As temperatures are forecasted to hit 40 C by the weekend, people who don’t have access to indoor shelters or cooling items are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illness.
That’s why Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is launching Operation Heat wave in the coming days.
“It’s going to be blistering hot and for those who don’t have the luxury of being able to go inside somewhere where there is AC or cold water, this can actually be a dangerous event for some people,” the Mission’s executive director Carmen Rempel said.
Rempel said staff and volunteers are busy trying to get ready to distribute cold water bottles, umbrellas, hats, sunscreen, ice and other cooling items.
She said the non-profit’s three outreach vehicles will be used to distribute the items after serving those experiencing homelessness with food.
“They’ll be driving around and finding people to give them emergency, cold relief for people in desperate need of it,” she said.
Rempel said in anticipation of the heavier workload, they’ve put out a call for all of their staff and volunteers who want to pick up extra shifts to help out with Operation Heat wave.
“Even for our staff and volunteers, nobody wants to do an eight-hour shift out in this 40-degree heat, so we need volunteers to come in for two hours at a time to help out.”
The Mission is also looking for donations of water bottles and flasks. If you have extras you are willing to give, you can drop them off at 259 Leon Avenue.
If you would like to help distribute cooling items, you can call 250-763-3737.