Fort McMurray Wildfires

fort mcmurray reliefUpdated – September 20, 2016

ERDO continues to address the pressing needs for the most vulnerable people affected by the Fort McMurray Fire crisis.

The team at Family Christian Centre in Fort McMurray, is working diligently to identify marginalized and disadvantaged population groups (ie. migrant nannies and contract workers) within the affected area to get services and funds into the hands of people who have the most pressing needs. After prayerful consideration we feel that it is best to address these concerns in concert with the greater Christian community in the city. We have met with lead pastors of four of the largest Evangelical congregations in Fort McMurray. As a larger coalition, we can collectively discern the needs of about 10% of the city.   

1. Counselling 

  • Counselling has been an area of tremendous need and continues to be a great demand. Our professional counselling team has been providing emotional support to adults, youth and children. In total they conducted 37 fire-related Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) sessions. At this point we are facing a dramatic increase in demands for PTS related counselling. On average a professional counsellor conducts 20-25 one hour sessions per week.

2. Community Ministry 

  • 900 bag lunches have been provided to individuals at burn sites and construction/restoration sites. A team of volunteers packed these lunches (sandwiches, vegetables, fruit, candy bars, water) and delivered it to various sites.
  • A BBQ/Pig Roast/Sport Activities event was held for families, youth and children in Fort McMurray. A dynamic team of volunteers provided a huge amount of the food and all of their time for free. We estimate that more than 500 people from the community participated in the event.
  • Financial assistance has been provided to families who were uninsured and needed funds to help them with furnishings and supplies to restart their lives.
  • 1,200 youth care packages were distributed in time for the start of school in September.

3. Partner Churches 

  • ERDO is now supporting an additional four partner churches to carry out further response ministries in their local areas of the city. As part of a larger team, we are working together to minister to the marginalized and disadvantaged population in the Fort McMurray community. Funds have been used to assist uninsured families to get back on their feet by providing financial aid, cash cards, hot meals, hygiene kits, etc.  

Special Note from Pastor Edwin at Family Christian Centre: “Once again we send a heart-felt appreciation to our PAOC family. They are AMAZING! I wish that every donor could witness what we are witnessing as we offer these kind gestures on behalf of ERDO & FCC.”

Your continued donations are greatly appreciated as we seek to empower families as they recover. 

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Updated May 27, 2016

ERDO has been providing aid to Fort McMurray fire victims and thanks to your support we have worked through Edmonton's North Pointe Community Church and Calgary's Beddington Pentecostal Church to help in these practical ways:

  1. Gift Cards - $30,000 CAD has been distributed in cash cards to assist with immediate food, clothing and hygiene needs. Gift cards were distributed to 426 individuals based on need; an average of $70/person. We aren't planning to deliver any more cash cards at the time of this update.
  2. Housing Placements – staff placed a total of 56 families/individuals in donated housing. 37 placements were made in the last week alone.
  3. Counselling Services continue to be used and are going to continue to meet client needs.

ERDO, through our trusted church partners, will continue assiting fire victims in this critical recovery phase.

After meeting with community leaders, we have been requested to provide teams of people to assist families/individuals who have suffered the loss of their property with sifting through their sites. In response, plans are to set up a feeding centre providing 250-300 bag lunches daily for distribution to the cleanup sites. We are also setting up teams to assist families and individuals with sorting through their loss.

 

The need for this additional response is $20,000 and will commence as people are allowed to re-enter Fort McMurray in the coming weeks.  Donate towards this additional work by clicking on the "Donate" button below. Thank you and please continue to pray for the people of Fort McMurray.

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Background:

Alberta has declared a state of emergency in the oilsands community of Fort McMurray. Raging wildfires over 101,000 hectares of land have forced more than 80,000 people from their homes.  It is the largest wildfire evacuation in Fort McMurray's history as explosive fire conditions ravage homes and business. On Wednesday, the Alberta Minister of Municipal Affairs, declared it a province-wide state of emergency.

People have fled, often with only what they can carry or fit in their car, to evacuation points at oilsands camps in the North and to other communities in the South.

Alberta firefighters, along with firefighters being sent from across the country, are concentrating efforts to save critical city infrastructure. More than 1,600 structures have been destroyed, many of those are homes.

ERDO is working alongside church partners to respond to evacuees in Edmonton at North Pointe Community Church and in Calgary at Beddington Pentecostal Church in three areas:

  • Providing  cash-cards  to evacuees to enable them meet immediate needs such as food, replacement clothing and hygiene kits.
  • Arranging  temporary housing for evacuees
  • Providing counselling services to evacuees at North Pointe Community Church Edmonton and Beddington Pentecostal Church, Calgary.

Your donations are greatly appreciated.  Please click the "donate" button to make your gift.



 

 

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