LETTERS OF SUPPORT
Since 2006, Bridges of Love has been focused on Pandemic/Emergency Preparedness. How fortunate we have been to meet and collaborate with various agencies, ngo groups, churches, and the private and public sector. These times of collaboration were so fulfilling as we crossed barriers in support for the larger goal -- caring for our communities.
The letters that we are sharing are from this time of working together and we appreciate the support we received from our Faith Emergency Preparedness Initiative Advisory Council. We accomplished so much during the years we met to discuss best practices, doing pandemic workshops, and collaborating on a Regional Faith Community Summit on Pandemic Preparedness and Response, with 150 Faith Leaders from Alberta attending. Please see our Pandemic Preparedness Section for more details on this wonderful and informative event.
BRIDGES OF LOVE
Letters of Support:
Chris McKiernan, Alberta Health Services
Michel Sougin, Public Safety Canada
Dr. Arthur Bradley, Author & Senior Scientist (NASA)
Devinder Shory, MP
Jamie Coutts, Slave Lake Fire Chief
Pastor Doug Schroeder Cross Roads Community Church
Wayne Cao, Retired MLA, Speaker of the House
FAITH EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS INITIATIVE TESTIMONIALS
After Alberta's 2013 Floods, Bridges of Love was very fortunate to receive a website donated from RECOVERS.org. Recovers is a group who developed a strategy to match donations with disaster victims virtually. It really did work like a charm, with Bridges of Love matching hundreds of donations, without stock-piling a single item. Our FEPI churches kindly did much of the deliveries both in Calgary and in High River. We are very appreciative to Jill Greene who discovered this "golden" group and to RECOVERS who made our job truly effective.
We received notes of appreciation from those who helped and were assisted through this difficult time. Please allow us to share a few of these encouraging notes.
I think Alberta.Recovers.org http://Alberta.Recovers.org will be there for the long run after the enthusiasm and ability of other groups has worn off. The website should be a labour-saving device so that you (!) can get your breath. Come November you may be the only person standing, metaphorically speaking.
God bless you all for the difference that you are making in others' lives.
To whom it may concern,
I wanted to write this Letter on behalf of Bridges of Love. I was recently affected by the June 13' flooding and kind of at the end of my search for help until someone suggested Bridges of Love. Myself and 6 children had just moved into a home after looking for accommodations for 2 months without luck when we came across this house and were able to move in right away. Two weeks later the Alberta floods were happening and all of our unsorted things were destroyed by the basement being flooded.... I had to leave our house with the children for over a week then the overwhelming work began. Because I wasn't directly in the flood area no agency would help my family. It took me very long and numerous frustrating phone calls but I kept getting passed to other agencies. No one wanted to help us. I was beginning to think we'd be moving to a shelter since parts of the house were unstable and our possessions lost, just as my last hope was gone, someone connected me with Bridges of love, this small yet big hearted ministry, wanted to help me that moment, and they did....
Marg and Tom are the nicest people I've ever met and go out of their way to help us all in many ways not just in donation, but also to have someone listen to my problems and having quick answers to many of our needs. I am indebted to them for all they have done for me which included a very fast response to my inquiries, donations of food, clothing, house hold items, cleaning supplies and some yard work they are presently getting help for me, as I have a few medical problems and am on disability I am unable to do some things. Marg and Tom volunteered themselves to come as well as other people from other churches to do the work for me!!! I've never in my life had anyone want to help me so much....
One night as my daughter was getting ready and packing to go to bible camp for the next morning, we had forgotten she needed a sleeping bag. I expressed to Marg in an email but I assumed it was too late. Do you know like an hour later it was at my door for my daughter.... I know they bought it themselves out of their own money. How else could they get it that fast? They are wonderful kind people and I am so grateful to have met them both, in a week they have helped me more than in the whole month I was trying to help myself. No one was willing until they came along, and what warms my heart the most is the time and consideration they take in even just checking in on us to see how we are and if anything is needed... We may not have everything just yet but since they came into our lives we have more than thought possible, since most agencies wouldn't even give my family a second look. I had no tenant insurance no money and we'd lost so much, Marg and Tom lifted my spirits and gave me a more positive look on things for my family. Some of the items we lost were beds, bedding, clothes, children's toys, tv's, computer, deep freeze with all our food, etc..... and peace of mind. They restored a lot of faith for us.
I am proud to know Bridges of Love as it is a well deserving ministry who came through for my family. There are a lot of people in need here and they provided more than any agency could. They listened and if they didn't have it they would figure a way to get help for me, as they have done.... So I owe a lot to them and pray they find what is needed to stay open as we all need them in our lives. They may not be a huge agency like most, but they are the biggest hearted people I've ever met. They are very much deserving of staying open to continue helping those in need. My family could have even been your family; they wouldn't hesitate to help anyone.
I am still so very thankful for this lovely automobile. It is everything I wanted in a vehicle. It is amazing and all I had prayed for. Thank you once again for the time you have spend working with me and all others you have helped. God bless you and your team. I am most thankful.
Please do stay in contact with me, it would mean very much to me to one day meet with you and have a face to face chat and share.
Yours in ChristJudy
Thanks Marg. We greatly appreciate what you're doing and are happy to help!
TimInterim Pastor of HFL
Noticed in CLN the great work you were doing with building awareness in the Christian community with the recovery from the floods. So good to see your many years of perseverance bear fruit in very difficult conditions.
My wife and a group of lady friends recently collected a number baby items - quilts, clothing & everyday items.
Any thoughts of the best agency to get them to for distribution?
I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated you being able to take the time to join us for breakfast and tell us about all that has happened and is happening with Bridges of Love. The work you are doing is remarkable and you have accomplished so much, I know it has been a struggle and you have overcome so much.
Emerald Management & Realty Ltd.
Sounds great Marg. everything is ready to go. Thanks for picking up and for all the great work you do!
I pray you and our family are safe and well. Thanks for your dedication to prepare our community and our great "congregation" to respond in this recent event. I pray you and the volunteers that respond to support the impact families in our community stay safe and are a conduit of His grace.
Jeff Lehrmann (President Chevron Canada)
Hi Marg. just a note to say BEMC is available with its food pantry still. We also have approx. 30 volunteers willing to help wherever.
It went well and Bill arrived on time. Difficult to know what they needed so put on my inn from the cold cap and gave them a 1/3 of my stock. I also gave them 15 cases of 24 bottles of water which I had Safeway put aside.
Lori - Bonavista EM Church
My son, Stephen, has a small lawn care 'business', so we haul a gas mower around with us, and also a gas weed whacker. Let me speak to him and see if we can help out sometime this week. I am away from town Aug 15-25, but perhaps we can get to work on cutting and weed whacking it before we go. I am not much of a weeder, though, so perhaps we can tag team things with Janice...
John (Associate Pastor, Crossroads Community Church)
During the Alberta flood of June 2013 we were privileged to make the acquaintance of Marg and Tom Pollon of Bridges of Love. Our church (Church of God in Christ, Mennonite) was looking for accommodations for volunteers to help with the flood restoration and cleanup in the Calgary area. The volunteers were travelling from BC, AB, SK and MB. After many attempts to locate a facility in Calgary we decided to contact Samaritan's Purse. We were excited to hear they knew of a ministry called Bridges of Love that they thought could help us. We contacted Marg and she immediately went to work on finding us what we needed. She made many phone calls to find us a church (building) where the volunteers could sleep and be served meals and also arranged for cots to be brought in. The second morning Marg and Tom graciously brought us breakfast for 15 - 20 people. This was not a request from us but rather kind and caring folks giving from their personal resources. From then on they also arranged for numerous meals to be served to the volunteers. After a few days that group of volunteers went home but within a short time we had another group looking for accommodations again. Marg again went to work and located another church for us which filled our needs. We were blessed to be able to work with such compassionate and caring people and know God will bless them as they minister through Bridges of Love!
Ray & Verda Klassen (Christian Disaster Services)
Hi Marg, our guests left this morning and it has left a small hole in my heart. I really loved having them (CDS) and we as a church are the better for it. It was good that we were able to help them at this time. I made a small friendship with four of the women who were responsible for caring for the team. I will truly miss them. I am also very grateful to Red Deer Lake United Church for their support of a meal on Thursday evening. Wonderful all around. Thank you for trusting us with this request …
Lori (Pastor Bonavista EM Church)