Huge shipment arrives from Fort McMurray for wildfire evacuees

By James Peters
July 12, 2017 - 10:42am

KAMLOOPS — The northern Alberta city that went through hell last year has been the first to step up to help evacuees of BC's wildfire crisis this summer.

After an initial shipment of goods and donations came to Kamloops Monday, a massive truckload arrived from Fort McMurray this morning.

It was unloaded by a group of volunteers at the Kamloops Food Bank.

"We put a call out for volunteers, and we had about 60 people come and help us. And boy, were we glad, because we had to hand bomb that whole truck," said Executive Director Bernadette Siracky.

"We thought things were going to come on pallets. But man, was it heartwarming."

The volume of goods sent from Fort McMurray has actually produced a surplus, allowing for a wider distribution.

"They're really helping us. We got so much product, that we're able to now send a truck up to Prince George where 100 Mile House has been evacuated to. Prince George is going to be reaping the generosity and the benefits from this, as are we," said Siracky.

"Fort Mac knew what we needed. They sent everything from sleeping bags to toothbrushes and toothpaste, dog food, diapers, baby products. All of those types of items are very, very helpful for people who had to flee their homes at a moment's notice."

"We received products from people's homes and people's hearts. These were all from individuals in Fort McMurray who experienced fires themselves a year ago. And the graciousness was just overwhelming - of our community, and of there's. We are such fans of Fort Mac."

Included in the shipment was an inspirational wall hanging that had been given to a Fort McMurray homeowner after her home was destroyed.

On the back was a handwritten message from the woman, stating, "I hope your house survived, but if not I hope this plaque helps you heal like it did me."

"We read this whole piece that the lady had written on the back of it, and honestly, it just stopped us all in our tracks," said Siracky.

"All of us were moving pretty fast at that point, we were unloading the truck and we were stacking things on pallets, and everyone just stopped. It took our breath away. It really was just a poignant moment, showing that all of those donations were made from the heart and they truly knew what these folks are going through."

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