UPDATE as of May 15, 9:00 a.m.
United Ways in Alberta, and across the country, are watching and sharing the concern for residents of Fort McMurray. With the entire city of 88,000 evacuated – 18,000 to the greater Edmonton area – many are enquiring on how to get help or give help.
EVACUEES CAN CALL 211 FOR SUPPORT...
Anyone affected by this disaster and in need of help on next steps should make it a priority to call 211 or visit www.ab.211.ca This service is an essential gateway to many critical supports that will help over the short and long term.
211 has compiled a very helpful list of resource for evacuees of fires in Wood Buffalo. 211 Information and Referral Services to help you navigate through resources needed such as; clothing, housing, shelter, food, etc.
SUPPORTING EMERGENCY NEEDS…
For anyone wanting to help support the immediate response efforts, there are a number of ways:
Edmonton's Food Bank – a funded partner of United Way of the Alberta Capital Region - is providing food resources to evacuees. Donations of food may be left at any major grocery store or fire hall.
Edmonton Emergency Relief Services is coordinating donation efforts, specifically requesting donations of NEW ITEMS. Items should NOT be taken to the Expo Centre.
All Donations can be dropped off at:
3870 - 98 Street between 8:00 a.m. and 10 p.m.
NEW items currently needed are:
-Towels and face clothes
-Shoes (all sexes, all sizes)
-Pyjamas (all sexes, all sizes)
-Clothing (all sexes, all sizes)
-Dog collar and leashes
-Diapers and overnight pull-ups (size 5&6)
-Sweaters and hoodies (men, women and youth)
VOLUNTEERS ARE STILL NEEDED! Volunteers must be able-bodied and 16 years of age or older.
The Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Facebook page is updated regularly with important information on what items are needed and when volunteers are needed. Alternatively, the main number to call for information is 780-428-4422.
DONATE TODAY – UNITED FOR FORT McMURRAY…
Along with emergency support efforts, the communities and families of Fort McMurray will need to major support to help rebuild not just their homes, but their lives as well.
The social services infrastructure of Fort McMurray and Wood Buffalo will need significant financial assistance to rebuild capacity that will meet the needs of their recovering city and its residents.
To get this process underway, a campaign has been launched to raise funds for the recovery and rebuilding phase. Donations are now being accepted at www.unitedforfortmcmurray.ca
United Way of Fort McMurray will work with all levels of government and partners to ensure the funds generated will go where they are needed most and where they will have the greatest impact in helping the community recover.
UNITED WAY OF THE ALBERTA CAPITAL REGION’S ROLE…
United Way of the Alberta Capital Region (UWACR) is providing temporary work space and support to United Way of Fort McMurray. This includes assisting staff with technology and personnel to help them work through this urgent time.
As well, UWACR is providing key products that will help evacuees. This includes 400 personal hygiene care kits that will be distributed through the Edmonton Emergency Relief Centre and, through the United Way Tools for School program, some of the children who will be temporarily placed in schools around the region are being provided backpacks full of school supplies so they can be prepared and ready to continue learning as they await plans to return home. Up to this point, requests have exceeded 1500 and we are working with schools to fill as much of the need as possible.