A B.C. woman is hoping an orange ribbon campaign to show support for firefighters battling wildfires around the province will catch on.
“I just thought it would be really cool to make a positive orange glow in B.C. if everyone would start wearing orange ribbons,” said Judy McPherson, who has been crafting the ribbons and handing them out randomly in Penticton. “At night, when you are near wildfire that is what you see — an orange glow. We want to change the orange glow to a positive orange.”
Having moved to the Okanagan from the Coast in the fall, McPherson said she has never been through a summer of wildfires like this one. However, the devastation of people losing their homes in the 2003 Okanagan wildfires hit close to home as many of her friends were affected.
“We were sitting at the beach recently and looking at the helicopters going over and I said, ‘oh my gosh, what can we do to support the firefighters?’ There are moms, dads, aunts, uncles and brothers and sisters out there doing that horrible work. Well, this only takes a couple inches of ribbon and one pin and you are on your way,” said McPherson.
A quick lesson from one of the employees at Fabricland and McPherson said she can now make about 70 of the ribbons for under $5. McPherson said after one day people have already started asking how they can help. She suggests donating ribbons, or donating your time and resources to make ribbons and then find distribution places that will hand them out.
On Monday, McPherson dropped ribbons off to stores and people she bumped into doing her daily business and said she received nothing but positive feedback to the idea, which she hopes catches on across the province.
“One person asked me if I wanted money. No, I don’t. It is just the thought of a little boy or girl at the mall looking around to see everyone wearing these orange ribbons, it shows that someone cares about their loved one,” she said. “It is a tough time and we need to pull together. What can we do? Let’s wear a ribbon and the firefighters will know we are behind them and spread that positive orange glow around B.C.”
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