As wildfires continue to ravage Fort McMurray, forcing 100,000 people to evacuate and destroying more than 1,600 homes and other buildings, those of us in Toronto may feel powerless to help.
While the disaster is taking place more than 2,500 kilometres away, however, there are ways Torontonians can pitch in and help with relief efforts. Here are some ways to offer assistance:
• The Red Cross has made it simple to donate, either online at http://bit.ly/redcrossfirehelp or via text. You can donate $5 to relief efforts by texting the word “redcross” to 30333 or a $10 donation by texting the word “fires” to 45678, with the donation being added to your phone bill. The Government of Canada has pledged to match every dollar donated to the Red Cross.
• CIBC is also accepting donations for the Red Cross at all locations.
• The International Development and Relief Foundation is also accepting donations online in keeping with its mission of providing humanitarian aid. Donate online at http://idrf.com/causes/alberta-fire
• The Salvation Army is collecting donations to help feed and support first responders to the Fort McMurray disaster. To donate, visit www.salvationarmy.ca/albertafires
• The Edmonton Humane Society and Animal Care & Control Centre of Edmonton are teaming up to help evacuees and companion animals displaced by the fires. Donate at www.edmontonhumanesociety.com/support-ehs/fort-mcmurray-wildfires
• The Wood Buffalo Food Bank, which serves Fort McMurray and the surrounding area, is taking Paypal donations online at www.woodbuffalofoodbank.com
• Edmonton’s Food Bank, which is supporting many residents and workers displaced by fire, is also seeking donations. Those looking to give can do so at www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/edmontons-food-bank
• The Mennonite Disaster Service Alberta Unit is also looking to help respond to the fires and is accepting donations at www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/mennonite-disaster-service-region-v-incorporated