We often find ourselves helpless when natural disaster strikes, especially when it’s so close to home. It’s been a week since the dreadful wildfire broke out in Fort McMurray, Alberta and the fast-spreading disaster (due to the hot air weather condition and time of year) has driven thousands from their homes. While the latest updates coming from the government and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley are still looking grim, Canadians are far from waving the white flag, judging from all the supportive messages we’re seeing all over the internet. From coast to coast, Canadians (and local business) are doing their part by showing their support in various ways. While EvelineCharles Spa are offering free shampoos, blow-dries and hair cuts at their Academy locations until end of May), Le Chateâu is donating $100,000 worth of clothing, shoes and accessories to evacuees via Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society). Even airlines like Air Canada and West Jet are contributing their help by offering lower fares and flying those in need out. Scroll down to see how you can help.
The latest donation count to Red Cross Canada shows that Canadians have already donated 54 million dollars (and counting). Encouraging us all to support, the Alberta government and federal government have stated they will be matching that amount until end of May.
How can you donate? Aside from walking into your local Canadian Red Cross, you can always head to redcross.ca or text ‘FIRES’ to 45678 to make a $10 donation or ‘REDCROSS’ to 30333 to make a $5 donation. The money that is being donated will immediately help evacuees get a place to sleep, food, water and other basic supplies. Psychological support will also be provided for those in need. To make sure the donated money is being used where it is needed, Red Cross will work with the Alberta government in the coming weeks, months and years during this recovery period.
Fort McMurray evacuees have set up a crowdsourced page on Facebook to help those in need with volunteers reach out for items in need that may not be listed or fit the requirements at drop-off locations.
Help the stranded
If you are looking for a place to stay or offering your space, Airbnb is waiving all fees in the area affected by the disaster until May 21.
Be in the know
If you’re not sure how you can help, we suggest to take a quick read here, as well.