How Your Alberta Flood Relief Donations Have Been Put to Use

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Alberta Flood red cross volunteers

As many Alberta residents can attest, a litany of property insurance claims have been filed in the aftermath of the province's worst flood. Thanks to these plans being in place, many homeowners and families have been spared from financial ruin.

But their ability to recover was not only made possible by their insurance coverage, but also thanks to the kindness and generosity of Canadians near and far. And the Canadian Red Cross - one of the charitable organizations that received sizable donations in the aftermath - wants you to know how your donations have been put to use.

By the middle of August, the Red Cross received more than $30 million for flood victims. For every dollar received, 95 cents goes to the people most in need. The donations have been used in the following ways.

Approximately 20 per cent of flood operation expenses have been for relief:

  • Identifying and registering evacuees so that they can reunite with loved ones.

  • Providing shelter for those who were displaced.

  • Distributing First-Aid kits to people in need, including items like bottled water, hand sanitizer and other donated relief products.

  • Coordinating with local food banks and homeless shelters for families.

The second phase of the recovery effort has been for transitioning back to life after the flood, taking up 35 percent of flood operation costs:

  • Providing monetary assistance to family members who require psychological care or treatment.

  • Making food, clothing and childcare available to those who don't have it.

  • Joining up with other relief organizations for clean-up tasks.

  • Coordinating with community organizers and neighborhood leaders to assist people whose needs have yet to be met.

The final phase has been for recovery, which has taken up the brunt of operational costs at 45 percent:

  • Providing financial assistance to families who may not be able to make their mortgage or rent payments.

  • Continuing the collaborative efforts used for facilitating meetings between neighborhood relief organizations.

  • Identifying opportunities where other response efforts may be needed such as with the Health Equipment Loan Program, or HELP.

In the month of July alone, the Canadian Red Cross has provided more than 873,000 relief supplies to families and businesses affected by the flood. Additionally, 91,000 people were successfully identified and registered to receive assistance, financial or otherwise.

Alberta Flood Aid Concert exceeds expectations

The flood relief effort got an added boost when tens of thousands of concert goers packed McMahon Stadium on August 16 to enjoy some of the music industry's top performers. Organizers had aimed to raise $1 million for the Calgary Foundation, but the donations exceeded that aim by $500,000.

The 30,000 people in attendance were a McMahon Stadium record and multiple Alberta native performers took part, including the rock band Nickelback and singer/songwriter Jann Arden.

According to CTV News, the $1.5 million raised is expected to increase once concert organizers account for other contributions from merchandise purchases as well as food.