Friends rally to help flood victim

By Riley Hill

High River was devastated during the summer floods, with the whole town being evacuated and millions of dollars in damage done. One of those who lost her home was third-year University of Calgary archeology student Kaiden Tajiri. But thanks to a friend, her year might get a little easier.

To help Tajiri, University of Calgary student Penny Christakis recently created the Tajiri Project, an online fundraising effort for Tajiri and her family.

“Our house was in a part of town where all the flood water was drained,” Tajiri said. “This was done to save the rest of High River.”

Because of this, 13 feet of water filled the basement of her home with some water flooding the main level. In the rush to leave her home, Tajiri and her family were only able to grab some important documents.

“My mom grabbed a box filled with documents. Except for that, just about everything was destroyed,” Tajiri said. “We went back later to look at the house. The basement was a mess. It had Lego pieces everywhere.”

Tajiri’s mother was forced to move to Calgary where she has been living with friends and family around the city. To help her mother, Tajiri decided to drop out of university to work full time as a carpenter.

“We got the debit cards from the government, but it wasn’t nearly enough to cover all the damage,” Tajiri said. “Insurance will only cover some of the damage in the basement. So until we get our home back, I decided to work so I could help mom.”

Christakis, who met Tajiri during U of C field school last summer, talked with Tajiri about her troubles and wanted to help in some way.

Christakis and some classmates decided to go online and start the Tajiri Project, a kick-starter that Christakis hopes will raise $20,000 for the Tajiri family.

“In the flood, they lost almost everything,” Christakis said. “We are hoping to make this project big. If we got 20,000 people to just donate one dollar, we could help out the family a lot.”

To donate, go here.

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