With the help of Interior Savings Credit Union, Khiara Archibald (centre) raised $6,000 for the Ashcroft and Cache Creek fire departments. Khiara is pictured (from left) with Ashcroft fire chief Josh White; Ashcroft Interior Savings Credit Union accounts manager Kellie Niessen and branch manager Karma Kubbernus; and Cache Creek fire captain Bill Elliott. Photo: Barbara Roden.

A ‘pretty determined girl’ helps raise $6,000 for wildfire-ravaged interior B.C. fire departments

Khiara Archibald sold lemonade and homemade jewellery to raise funds for local firefighters.

A young girl with a big heart has helped to raise $6,000 to benefit the Ashcroft and Cache Creek Volunteer Fire Departments; and she has also received the provincial government’s “Above and Beyond” award for her efforts.

Khiara Archibald, an 11-year-old student at Desert Sands Community School in Ashcroft, wanted to raise funds to help those affected by this summer’s wildfires. In August she and two friends — Jordan Kidder and Issabella Johnston — set up a lemonade stand on Government Street in Ashcroft, where Khiara also sold homemade jewellery she had created.

They wanted to raise funds for the volunteer firefighters, and held up a sign reading “Firefighters save more than homes, they save hearts, memories, and dreams.” Khiara also decided to raise funds to help Mae Kirkpatrick, who lost her home on the Ashcroft Reserve on July 7.

Khiara Archibald raised $6,000 for her fire departments.

“I really wanted to help raise money for people,” Khiara told The Journal in late August. “I thought it was something nice to do.” She said that she decided to give the funds raised to Kirkpatrick after hearing how she had escaped from a burning house on the Reserve while she was babysitting.

READ MORE: Caring student raising funds to assist in fire aftermath

Khiara then began raising funds to help the local firefighters. “I decided to help them because they did so much for us. I heard [Ashcroft fire chief] Josh White say they needed a generator. I thought I could raise some money.”

Her father Keith built her a lemonade stand, which she set up for several days outside the Ashcroft fire hall; and she was also able to set the stand up at the Cache Creek Husky. In addition, Khiara sold her homemade jewellery, which she had started making and selling while staying at the campground in Savona during the summer.

Khiara’s goal was to raise $6,000. “I thought she might raise a couple of hundred dollars,” says Khiara’s mother Nicole. However, Khiara’s efforts and hard work paid off, and she raised $2,000.

She then approached Interior Savings Credit Union (ISCU) to see if they could make a donation. Ashcroft branch manager Karma Kubbernus said that they had $500 left to donate, and staff decided to go ahead. Kubbernus then put in a request to the ISCU Community Investment Fund for the remaining $3,500.

That fund is managed by a committee of ISCU staff, and its focus area is on things that are sustainable and that have a positive impact on the local economy. “The request was a perfect fit,” says Kubbernus, and they received the $3,500.

On December 19, a presentation of $6,000 was made to White and Cache Creek fire captain Bill Elliott. Both men were impressed by, and grateful for, Khiara’s efforts.

“Donations have been coming in, and it’s wonderful; but this one is especially nice, with a young person taking on an initiative like this,” says Elliott.

White says that this has “Really given me a positive outlook on the future generation. They’re not all in their rooms playing video games. They’re very conscious about what’s going on around them.

“Khiara was exceptional, setting up the lemonade stand in front of the hall and putting in the time. Lots of people wouldn’t do that, but she and her family were out there. It’s just amazing; a big Christmas present come early.”

After the presentation, White prepared to take Khiara for a ride around town in the fire department’s Engine 3. “It’s the least we can do.”

“I’m very proud of her,” says Nicole. “There’s no doubt she can do anything she sets her mind to. She’s a pretty determined girl.”



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