With the knowledge that evacuees from Fort McMurray are spread across the province, there has been no shortage of people stepping forward to meet the immediate needs of food, clothing and shelter. Following the fire, the need will be no less great.
The United Way of Fort McMurray has launched a campaign to support community recovery and rebuilding following the disaster. Donations are now being accepted at www.unitedforfortmcmurray.ca.
Diane Shannon, Executive Director of United Way of Fort McMurray says that the focus will now begin to shift from the emergency need during the evacuation and resettlement, to a long road to rebuilding.
“The Red Cross provides critical emergency services during the time of evacuation and temporary resettlement while the agencies that are critical to supporting the community become re-established and functioning. This will be a much longer process. We know the heavy lifting still lies ahead of us as we contemplate how to rebuild our lives and the community we love.”
United Ways across Alberta and Canada are working together to support United Way Fort McMurray in developing recovery and rebuilding plans that will serve to address the needs of the community. Those needs and the needs of individuals and families will become more clear in the coming weeks.
United Ways, including United Way of Lethbridge & South Western Alberta are committed to supporting social programs and services that will connect Fort McMurray residents with housing supports, financial assistance, food access, trauma and mental health resources and much more.
“We know that there are Fort McMurray residents settling here in Lethbridge,” says Maureen Burke, president of United Way of Lethbridge’s Board of Directors. “Our United Way will stand by to help connect them to services and meet their needs in any way possible.”
Community members wishing to help can donate to United Way Fort McMurray (www.unitedforfortmcmurray.ca) to support recovery and rebuilding efforts, and help address social needs of residents in that area. Donations to disaster recovery efforts are accepted through organizations like the Canadian Red Cross (www.redcross.ca).
Fort McMurray residents can access more information at www.ab.211.ca. For help accessing Government of Alberta programs and services, contact the Programs & Services Call Centre at 310-0000 toll-free anywhere in Alberta. The service is available weekdays between 8am-6pm M.T.