YARMOUTH - Thousands of people are participating in an online auction to assist families impacted by a tragedy that claimed the lives of four children in Pubnico Head in early January.
Mary Lloy, facilitator of the Let's Help Pubnico Families Fundraiser online auction Facebook group, says the growth of the fundraiser and generosity of the community is “beautiful and amazing.”
“I’ve always had faith in people in Yarmouth,” she said.
“I’ve seen it before in other tragedies and situations where there’s a call to action and they’ve done everything they can to help out.”
The auction has spread much further than the immediate area. There are donations of items and services - and bids - from across Canada, the United States, even China.
“I think it’s been kind of therapeutic for those who don’t know the families and those who do. It’s a chance to do something and feel like we’re being useful at a time when they need us,” said Lloy.
The 300+ donations include craft items, paintings and photography prints, services, and canvases; CDs and rugs. The list also includes gift certificates for hair stylists, an observatory experience, B& B and hotel lodging, stores, dogsitting services, cake, teeth whitening and spray tan, massages, gym membership, books, lobsters, restaurants, season pass to Southwest Stock Car Association, tandem load of gravel delivered, auto body repair, septic pumping, anchors, auto detailing, whale watching, gas, groceries and more.
Lloy says her personal high goal when she started the auction was $10,000, but she now believes that close to triple that amount will be raised.
“I’m surprised at the bids – they are way over and above the price of what they’re bidding on,” she said.
Lloy says she doesn’t know the families of the children lost in the fire, but that she is a grandmother, a mother, an aunt, a cousin and a godmother to other children.
“It struck me to my core as I’m sure it did many. No one has been untouched by this. I think people have just surrounded that community in a protective way to help see them through this grief.”
The online auction stopped taking donations on Jan. 15 but is open to bidding until 5 p.m. on Jan. 17 and people are encouraged to continue bidding.
All funds raised are being directed to the Royal Bank of Canada, where an account (under the name “Pubnico Fire Relief Fund) has been set up for the families.
How to help
To view auction items and bid visit this link