Instead of taking the conventional approach to media in disaster and heartbreak I thought I’d shine some light in a different way that includes a story of hope and bringing a community together.
I recently heard about an individual (Jordan Rhude) hanging out in a parking lot with his pick up truck collecting items to bring up to Fort Saskatchewan for the Fort McMurray Victims. Only a day later I pull and find a small group collecting items and placing them into trailers, buses and even a semi truck pulled up to be filled as I packed up to leave.
So many people are asking what to bring, how can they help, what’s needed? So I decided to go straight to the organizers, those that have been to Fort Saskatchewan and actually experienced a small part of the horror we’re all watching on the news. This is what they asked for….
What to donate:
- dog food, kennels and pet supplies i.e., leashes, kennels
- baby supplies i.e. diapers, formula, etc.
- toilet paper
- shampoo, soap, etc
- new underwear and sox (preferably in the package)
- gift cards
- non perishable food
What NOT to bring:
- large electronics
- cooking supplies
Bringing a Community Together
I talked and watched several of the volunteers and what I was expecting wasn’t there. It wasn’t a gloomy or sad atmosphere, people were actually excited to help. Car after car pulled up with donation, and volunteer after volunteer loaded up vehicles.
Most couldn’t believe how many things were coming in and how much help there was. It was truly an incredible experience of brining a community together. Of course they need more help and more supplies but it was incredible to see the onslaught of donations coming in, which didn’t stop from the moment I arrived and carried on until I left.
Where to Drop Off Locally
If you are in the area and looking to drop off anything that may help you can find these local hero’s in the parking lot of the Canadian Tire in Olds, Alberta.
It’s so hard to believe an entire town is gone. It’s not just a home being a house it’s home that’s a safe place, it’s where families grew up and raised their children. It’s a place to come home to after vacation, it’s where memories are made, the schools we send our children to and the neighbours we live next to. It puts life into perspective and makes our day to day worries seems as small as they usually are.
It seems like a lot of people don’t know what to do or how to help. The fact of the matter is, these people lost absolutely everything.
We have basements, closets, garages and sheds full of items we haven’t used or seen in years. If you have nothing, anything, anything at all will make a difference. Even a $5 donation will make a difference and if that’s a stretch which certainly can be, take some time out of your day to think some good thoughts and throw some positive energy towards those that have lost what most of us couldn’t imagine.