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‘Community Connect Day’ at Rotary Park

Posted by Izaiah Reyes

Through the event, the non-profit organization aims to uplift the community, furthering their mission to support Merritt after last year’s devastating floods. 

The Samaritan’s Purse organized a fun-filled family day which invited the people of Merritt out to Rotary Park last Sunday. People were treated to a free meal, music, and games. 

“The whole purpose was just to celebrate the strength of the community when they come together,” said Recovery Specialist Sherry Peterson.

“The community at large, has been in a lot of stress since last year. Just to be able to get out in the open air and, though it may sound funny, just to play is very good for a person’s both mental and emotional wellness.” 

Since last year, the nonprofit organization has been present in Merritt to provide aid in people’s recovery post flood. Initially, their support came in the form of assistance with the clean up of flood-damaged properties.

As many properties have been restored, the group have stepped into their post flood recovery phase where Peterson and her co-specialist, Meghan Blackmore are staying in the community for two years to help residents in identifying resources they need to become resilient from future flooding events. 

“Our job is to help build community capacity, fill in blanks, and help people with their emotional and spiritual wellness,” said Peterson. “We are here to help them with their recovery plan and to encourage the community to move forward by connecting with one another.” 

The group had collaborated with Cross Roads Community Church, Nicola Valley Arts Council, and Endeavour to be Better to organize the event. Prizes from local businesses were also offered in name draws. 

“Even though we’ve been through a flood, we’re not identified by it,” said Peterson. “Our identity is found in how great we are together which is what we celebrated.” 

For more information on Samaritan’s Purse’s different services, please call Sherry Peterson at (250) 574-4885.

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