SHEET HARBOUR: At the end of August, the Gerald Hardy Memorial Society (GHMS) building flooded following heavy rains in the area.
The flooding significantly damaged the building which is a community gathering space for folks with disabilities and home to Cascades Thrift Store as well as the Rainbow Food Bank, which supports more than 80 families in the area.
“The flooding damage was significant but the impact this would have on our community was even more upsetting,” said Kerrylou Beyea, Executve Director at the Gerald Hardy Memorial Society.
“When we found out that we were not covered through insurance, we were overwhelmed and not sure how we were going to get everything in our building packed, moved out and stored.”
It didn’t take long for the community to learn about the flooded GHMS building, and even less time to spring into action.
The Sheet Harbour Lions Club immediately offered their space to store any items that could be salvaged while the Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital opened their doors to allow impactful GHMS programming to continue without interruption.
“The flooded building was going to sit in ankle-deep water for several weeks waiting for contractors to begin their work, however, this work couldn’t wait,” said Jonathon Taylor, Community Engagement Superintendent at St Barbara Atlantic Operations.
“We knew we had the means and human-power within our community to get this work done ourselves.”
On September 7, 15 volunteers from the Gerald Hardy Memorial Society, St Barbara Atlantic Operations and residents from the Eastern Shore came together to support their community.
St Barbara provided two company trucks, lunch and refreshments, and helped remove and dispose of any items that could not be salvaged, while ensuring any undamaged goods were securely stored at the Sheet Harbour Lions Club.
Sheet Harbour Search and Rescue provided a storage trailer to hold non-damaged products, and J&J Welding, as well as the Sheet Harbour Snowmobile & ATV Club offered their buildings for dry storage.
“I’m proud of how quickly our community jumped into action to help the Gerald Hardy Memorial Society. They’re such an important part of Sheet Harbour,” said Jonathon Taylor. “We all came together and were able to get this work done in one day. That’s the power of community.”
Within 24 hours, the GHMS building had all damaged goods removed and disposed of while any items that could be salvaged, were reallocated, and made available for community.
“We are so grateful for the volunteers who supported us and helped prepare the building for restora�on
work,” said Kerrylou.
“Jonathan did not even hesitate to reach out and ask what needed to be done and what our greatest need was. They truly went above and beyond to help us in our time of need.
“The team at GHMS are forever grateful.”
For those looking to support the Gerald Hardy Memorial Society, you can donate via their
website: www.geraldhardysociety.ca/to-donate .