Alberta Flood Donations Keep Coming

Friday, May 9, 2014

It has been almost a year since the 2013 Alberta floods, and the re-building of parts of the province continues. It is becoming clear that this would not have been possible if it had not been for the cash donations and volunteer work of large numbers of Canadians and their friends abroad.

Canadians and foreigners alike have been opening their wallets to help the efforts of The Canadian Red Cross, the High River Emergency Relief Fund, United Way Calgary and Area, the Salvation Army, the YWCA of Calgary and the Calgary Drop-In Centre. These organisations have been at the forefront of supporting the victims of the flooding with anything from food to furniture to computers, and some generous donors have given recurring monthly donations. Cash is still trickling in, and since so many families with average monthly incomes lost most of their flood-uninsurable possessions, financial aid is still urgently required to replace their most necessary belongings. In fact, since many families who initially thought they could survive without help have now realised the full impact on their lives, many new families are still coming forward for help.

It is not only money that has been required and received, however. Many families without cash to spare but with old unused items have been put in touch with other families who need goods. Incredibly, by August 2013, High River had to refuse goods because the town simply had no storage space left.

Organisations like Samaritan's Purse and YYCHelp have recruited volunteers to help families clean up their homes and plots to prepare them for the big re-build. 

Beyond helping families to recover their lives, many people have volunteered their services to help clean up Alberta's flooded parks and campgrounds. The government will spend the money over the next few years, but the workers must come from the community.

The canada.com website voted the people of Alberta as its newsmakers of the year for their "perseverance, kindness and sheer gumption". 

Some credit should also go to Canadians in other provinces. The federal government is paying for most of the re-building, with a current commitment of $2.8 billion in the 2014 budget. The province is also hoping that other funds earmarked for infrastructure in other provinces may be given to Alberta instead.

Lives may not be restored to what they were before the floods, but Canada is making its best effort to come as close to it as possible.