by Morinville News Staff

Families in need of basic items during the evacuation from Fort McMurray received $30 million in aid from the Canadian Red Cross in just 24 hours. The monies represent more than half of the funds offered by the organization to help people affected by the Alberta wildfires.

The Red Cross announced Friday it had successfully provided more than $30 million in immediate financial assistance to 64,000 people by an electronic transfer of funds, something the Red Cross says is the largest and fastest distribution of immediate financial assistance in the organization’s history.

“We are so pleased that the Red Cross has quickly reached thousands of people who needed this assistance immediately,” said Conrad Sauvé, president and CEO of Canadian Red Cross in Friday’s release. “This is a precedent-setting effort on the part of Red Cross. It reflects the outpouring of generosity from Canadians who are clearly making a difference in people’s lives.”

The Red Cross notified thousands of evacuees by email Wednesday that emergency funds were immediately being provided. Registered adults received $600 each, children $300. The monies allow families and individuals, who left their communities with possession, the funds to purchase what they most urgently need.

Local efforts continue

Locally, relief efforts and support continue in several directions. Thursday night’s Fort McMurray Potluck drew about 200 through the Morinville Rendez-Vous Centre for food and fellowship, and a Town-run free movie event is planned for Sunday afternoon for evacuees and residents. Preceding the movie, the Father’s House Church, which meets at the cultural centre, is once again opening its doors to evacuees and the broader community.

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Matt Baty works the babecue at Thursday’s potluck in Morinville

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Linda Mondor and organizer Wyanita Seinen show the tables of donations free for the taking for evacuees.

– Lucie Roy Photos

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