CTV News has learned several of the city’s key organizations, some with national prominence, are coming together to help those left in a lurch by Friday’s tornadoes.

Journalist, Stefan Keyes, is being told this is a major announcement that will solidify a long-term commitment to victims following the first wave of emergency response. Essentially, letting tornado and storm victims know they will not be forgotten.

“We are bringing key organizations together and investing to support our community in this time of great need,” said Michael Allen, President and CEO of United Way Ottawa. “It is United Way Ottawa’s role to aid in the ongoing support of our community, and to ensure that vulnerable populations are not overlooked as we rebuild and recover from this natural disaster.”

Also at the forefront of the initiative is the Canadian Red Cross. Both organizations say experience has shown picking up the pieces could take years. Natural disasters like the 2013 flooding in High River, Alberta or the wildfires in Fort McMurray have shown recovery isn’t quick.

Participating organizations/governments include:

  • City of Ottawa
  • The Salvation Army
  • The Ottawa Food Bank
  • The Ottawa Community Foundation
  • The Ottawa Senators Foundation
  • Ottawa Community Housing
  • The Ottawa Community Housing Foundation
  • The Champlain Community Support Network
  • regional United Ways

“The Red Cross will work with government officials, the United Way and other community partners to help residents recover and move on,” said Tatjana Radovanovic, Senior Director, Ontario Operations, Canadian Red Cross.

The organizations are still working to coordinate resources; however, United Way is immediately donating $20,000 to the Ottawa Food Bank to address food security issues. In addition to this, grocery stores are stepping up to donate cash or thousands of dollars’ worth of grocery gift cards.

With the effort comes a new website where the organizations will accept donations: www.afterthestorm.ca