Alberta stays strong

The wildfire that devastated Fort McMurray has led to unprecedented support and generosity

by Danielle Cameron
A silhouette of a firefighter in front of a blaze.

The Fort McMurray fire destroyed more than 2,400 structures. — Nuno Andr Ferreira/iStock/Thinkstock photo

A once-bustling industrial community is dealing with the aftermath of a tragedy after wildfires destroyed more than 2,400 structures. The fires left more than 80,000 Fort McMurray residents displaced from their homes, some fled with just the clothing on their backs.

In this terrible time, however, there has been an incredible display of support that will restore your faith in humankind. Individuals from every walk of life have been donating their time, money and resources—and businesses have also pulled together in a big way to give generous amounts. Even the five major banks in Canada (CIBC, TD, RBC, BMO and Scotiabank) are pitching in by offering their clients from Fort McMurray financial breaks, such as deferred loan payments, to help them get back on their feet. Several major oil and gas companies have offered their work camps as housing space for evacuees; Teck has given more than $75,000 and Ford Canada gave $500,000. 

The federal government will also be matching all donations to the Canadian Red Cross. The organization has collected more than $67 million so far, and the number just keeps on growing. This is just a small sampling of the generosity; airlines such as Westjet have been flying supplies in, evacuating people and otherwise assisting any way they can. Suncor Energy has been in the news, warming our hearts with photos of planes carrying pets to be reunited with their guardians, as many were unwillingly left behind. Canada Post announced a mail forwarding program free of charge for Fort McMurray and area residents.

If you are moved by the generosity of your fellow Canadians and you would like to know how you can help, visit the Canadian Red Cross website. 



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