With recovery efforts in full swing in wildfire-devastated Fort McMurray, Alta., The Salvation Army is helping residents rebuild their lives.
The wildfire, which broke out in May, destroyed nearly 600,000 acres of forest, forced 90,000 residents to evacuate, and left more than 2,400 families homeless.
When the wildfire began on May 1, The Salvation Army was on the front lines serving meals, snacks and refreshments to firefighters, police and other first responders, as they fiercely battled the stubborn fire.
Once evacuees were allowed to re-enter their homes, the Army welcomed residents home with assistance. About 110 Army employees and 100 volunteers worked tirelessly over the course of the evacuation and re-entry into homes.
15,735 meals were served in Fort McMurray
The Salvation Army has provided more than $165,000 in goods through pre-paid Visa cards, gift cards, Salvation Army Thrift Store vouchers, food hampers, bus tickets and mattresses
“For people whose homes have burned to the ground, they are really in need of a safe place to come and talk and we’ve been able to provide support and comfort,” says Major Marina Jennings, corps officer in Fort McMurray.
More than 3,500 people have received help from The Salvation Army
Since re-entry, The Salvation Army’s thrift store, emergency shelter and community outreach programs have all re-opened and are operating at full capacity due to the increased demand from displaced families.