Providing Comfort in Winnipeg After Devastating Fire - Salvation Army Canada

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    Providing Comfort in Winnipeg After Devastating Fire

    When fire destroyed an apartment complex in Winnipeg, The Salvation Army provided emotional and spiritual care to victims who escaped with only the clothes on their backs March 14, 2012
    Filed Under:
    Territorial News
    When fire destroyed an apartment complex in Winnipeg, the building's 40-50 residents lost precious valuables and memories in the raging inferno. The Salvation Army emergency disaster services community response team provided emotional and spiritual care to victims who escaped with only the clothes on their backs.

    “We opened the doors to our church to provide the evacuees with a safe and warm place to go to while things were sorted out for them,” explains Jeff Hamel, community ministries supervisor at Weetamah Corps. “When the evacuees showed up, we met their immediate needs by feeding them, then sat and talked with them, comforting them as they dealt with feelings of hopelessness and despair.”

    The Army also collected donations from the generous people of Winnipeg, including clothing, couches and dining tables. Larger items were delivered by the thrift store when evacuees moved into more permanent housing. Many of these items were donated by people such as Keith Dixon, one of the firefighters who responded to the emergency. While rescuing a person trapped inside, Dixon was injured and subsequently found himself off duty to recover. During his recuperation, he got in touch with The North West Company who agreed to help.

    “We are very happy to provide these families with a care package of everyday necessities,” says Christine Reimer, vice-president and general manager, Giant Tiger West, one of the company's stores. “While we cannot replace lost memories, we can offer some comforts of home during this difficult time.” The company also gave the evacuees $20 Giant Tiger gift cards.

    “The Salvation Army is grateful for the support of the community as they join in giving hope and dignity to those devastated by the fire,” says Hamel.

    Photo by Sheila North Wilson, CBC Winnipeg

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