It is often at our worst that we see the best in people. For the past few weeks, we have watched around the world as the city of Fort McMurray, Alberta has dealt with the devastation of a wildfire. Our students have seen the ruin on television and some of our school families have been directly impacted as family members work or live in the area. We spent class time talking out our emotions and then decided we needed to do more than just talk.
Our school is filled with the most amazing students who upon hearing about the over 80 000 people having to be evacuated from their homes immediately went into action wanting to contribute. Here is a list our class created on ways you can be a help.
Donate to the Red Cross at redcross.ca This is the most impactful way to donate if you live far away. The Canadian and Albertan governments are matching donations from private citizens (though many businesses and organizations are making donations as well-so it pays to donate yourself instead of through business to double the money).
Join in on the Alberta-wide food drive at feedalberta.com to help restock the Food Banks for the people of Fort McMurray. It was already experiencing a difficult time with the economic downturn and will need assistance to help others. If you cannot donate non-perishable items at your local food bank, consider donating cash directly. They are able to spend the money more efficiently than private citizens.
Donate to the Edmonton Emergency Relief Service Society through CanadaHelps.com This agency has been responsible for getting immediate care items like toiletries and clothes into the hands of evacuees while they are not allowed back into their community. They are always in the need of hygiene products and clothing items such as socks and under garments in all sizes.
If you don’t have money, consider donating your time. Food Banks and emergency centres always need people to sort and pack items. They can easily be found in your area. Most places require volunteers to be the age of sixteen, so always call ahead to check when and where you will be the most helpful.
Buy items from Canadian sellers on Teachers Pay Teachers who will be donating their proceeds from May 16, 2016 to the Canadian Red Cross. You can find our store here and other participating stores are listed below. Look for banners on stores that are let you know they are participating.
Our students also created over 500 hand made cards to deliver to the evacuees at the Edmonton Expo Centre where many evacuees have gathered and some are temporarily staying until they can return home or find a new home until their house can be rebuilt. Our students had no shortage of ideas on how to help. They thought with their hearts and we are so proud of them.
Let us know how you teach children to respond to tragedies in the community in our comments below.