Albertans are strong, resourceful people who stand together in times of crisis, and that strength is needed now as Fort McMurray and the surrounding area is facing devastating fires and mass evacuations. Many Edmontonians have been reaching out to the City asking how they can help those affected by the fires.
The City of Edmonton is working with the Red Cross and has set up a receiving centre in Northlands to accept evacuees and provide them with care and services in this difficult time. Northlands is fully staffed with teams that are trained to deal with these types of events and they are not looking for volunteers at this time.
However, citizens may contact Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Society (EERSS) at 780-428-4422 or firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer. They are looking for people to make supply packages for those affected and answer phone inquiries.
If you want to make physical donations of clothing, toiletries, or other goods, please do not drop them off at Northlands. To make physical donations, you can go to the Emergency Relief Centre, home of the EERSS, at 10255 104 street. I would encourage you to call them first, as they are only accepting certain types of donations at this time.
These needs may change in the coming days, and we will do everything we can to let citizens know how they can contribute.
If you want to make financial donations, please donate to the Red Cross at http://www.redcross.ca/. They have set up a specific fund for helping evacuees.
The outpouring of support for our fellow Albertans in the last day has been extremely heartening to see, and I hope that the residents of Fort McMurray can feel the rest of Alberta, and especially Edmonton, standing behind them in this difficult time. We will continue to stand with them in the days ahead, and in what I’m sure will be a long road to recovery for our northern neighbour.