How to help Fort McMurray Wildfire Victims
Could you imagine being told you have 15 minutes to pack up everything you own, and get out of your house, never to return?
This is the exact circumstance that nearly, 100,000 Canadians were dealing with over the past week as wildfires ravaged through Fort McMurray, Alberta.
As we wrapped up our Mother’s Day celebrations, my wife and I were talking about what we would grab if we were told we had 15 minutes. It takes us more than 15 minutes to just our 2 kids out of the house, let alone gather up our personal belongings. The best we could come up with was my wife taking the kids while I grabbed whatever I could.
Fortunately, some of those evacuated did find some humour in their grieving process through a Facebook called “[Controversial Humor] Fort McMurray Everything goes!!!”, where evacuees shared some of the funniest things they packed, like Cheese slices and snow pants.
What has amazed me the most about this situation, is how Canadians come together to support one another in a time of need. This disaster has truly brought out the best in people, and the support continues to grow!
In that spirit, I have elected to forgo my typical milestone format where I share my biggest life lessons and share ways you can help the people of Fort McMurray recover from their wildfires.
How you can help the people of Fort McMurray:
The Canadian Red Cross has people on the ground, and this is the best way to get help to the people of Fort McMurray directly. It will help you avoid many of scams and all of the donations made to the Red Cross are being matched by the Federal Government.
- Text the word REDCROSS to 30333 and a $5 donation will be added to your wireless bill
- Text the word REDCROSS to 45678 and a $10 donation will be added to your wireless bill
- $10 dollars when you text the word FIRES to 45678.
BONUS: “TD will donate $100,000 to the Canadian Red Cross – Alberta Fires Appeal, and will also be accepting donations on behalf of the Canadian Red Cross through our branches, EasyLine and EasyWeb, starting May 6, 2016. To encourage Canadians to rally together to support our family, friends, colleagues and communities in Alberta, TD will match all donations made through TD Canada Trust by June 6, 2016 up to $100,000. A total donation of $200,000 in addition to other efforts already announced to support our customers.”
2. Send Clothes, Toiletries, Basics…
Think about it, you have 15 minutes to get out of your house before you loose it all! Under that amount of stress, most people will panic and grab whatever they can. Many forgot the basics, like their toothbrush, deodorant, pots, pans, etc.
Instead of having that garage sale this weekend to “get rid of your junk” for a profit of $100, give it to our friends in need.
There are literally thousands of local charities willing to help. The best option is to reach out to the Salvation Army (click here) to find your local donation location.
3. Offer a place to stay
It blew me away when I saw the article from AirBnB, who have waived their fees to allow people to offer up their home to those displaced by the wildfires. If you want to offer your home, a room, or if you’re looking for a place to stay, here’s some options from AirBnB (click here).
4. Just do something…
This is an incredibly difficult time for people of Fort McMurray if any of the above options don’t fit – just do something, anything! Put yourself in their shoes, you would need help!
If you have other suggestions, or ways people can help. PLEASE, please, please – leave them in the comments below.