Developer Johannes van Leenen watched in disbelief alongside many Kelowna residents, as flames enveloped the hills and homes on the west side of Okanagan Lake back on Aug. 17.
van Leenen is the president of Fifth Avenue Properties which is developing a new downtown condos, and the day he saw the Grouse Complex wildfire destroy many homes he knew that it would take a community to come together to rebuild.
This is why Fifth Avenue Properties launched the “Rise Up Relief Initiative”, a commitment to helping those affected by the recent devastating fires.
Through this campaign, a portion of each new home sale at Nolita will be directly channelled into fire relief efforts.
“We really wanted to do something to help rebuild,” said van Leenen. “For the balance of the year, based on sales, we want to donate up to $5,000 to the United Way.”
Nolita is currently under construction and will be located on Coronation Street as a boutique collection of 60 homes.
Rise Up Relief Initiative’ is an opportunity for our buyers to not just find a new home but to be part of a movement that supports their neighbours, friends, and families as they rise and re-build from their loss,” said van Leenen. “As we witness the strength and resilience of our city during these trying times, Nolita takes on an added significance.”
United Way BC launched its United for BC Wildfire Recovery Fund on Monday, Aug. 21, to mobilize resources and respond to immediate and emerging needs.
The group has spearheaded immediate relief measures in the past, helping provide essentials like food, water, blankets, personal care items and gas cards for evacuees.
The organization is also working closely with agencies in the community to support meal delivery initiatives for seniors who may find themselves confined indoors due to the thick wildfire smoke. They will continue to focus on supporting the comprehensive recovery and rebuilding efforts for all affected regions.