The generous spirit of Saskatchewan people came shining through on Thursday as the Saskatchewan Day of Caring for Fort McMurray raised $$747,618.
As the Alberta wildfire continued to explode in size on Thursday, all six Rawlco Radio stations in Saskatchewan teamed up to raise money for the Red Cross. Through the Red Cross, those donations will go directly to supporting evacuees to provide emergency food, clothing, shelter and personal services for as long as they need it.
Melissa Blake is the mayor of Wood Buffalo Fort McMurray. As she joined News Talk Radio Thursday evening, she was brought to tears by the generosity of Saskatchewan people.
“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe what our incredible neighbours have done for us. That is outstanding,” she said, after hearing the total amount raised for the Red Cross.
She is staying in a northern camp with her family after fleeing from the city on Tuesday in the mass evacuation.
“Our people – our greatest asset – are hurting right now, there’s no question,” Blake said. “It’ll be a long time before we get to see our homes again, if we even have homes – and many have lost theirs.”
But there is a bright spot in that cloud of darkness.
“This outpouring of support that’s coming from every part of our province, neighbouring provinces, from our country, from even places around the world – I’ve never felt so incredibly good about the human spirit as I do right now.”
She has complete faith that the people of her community will come back stronger than ever. She pointed to the stories of babies being born at evacuation centres as a sign of rebirth for the city. She said even people who were hardest hit are telling her they plan to be ready to support the next community when the time comes.