by Stephen Dafoe
Sunday marked the fourth day Jodi Damon and her partner Sébastien Comeau set up a truck and trailer in the No Frills parking lot in Morinville to, like so many in the community, do something to assist those evacuated from Fort McMurray.
The couple says they have filled the trailer multiple times, getting the first day’s haul north to those in need through a truck group they belong to – Western Canadian Powerstrokes.
“Our first day went all up north,” Comeau said. “Our second day, the same thing. Yesterday (Saturday) we went to the campground in Morinville. There’s a lot of people there, about 30 to 40 people.”
Comeau went on to say Sunday’s collection would go to assist those who have taken refuge in Legal both in the campground there and in the homes of friends and family that have taken evacuees in. The couple was planning to set up their truck and trailer Monday, taking supplies to those who have arrived at Sandy Beach.
Damon said a sense of putting herself in the evacuees’ shoes prompted her to take action.
“If that were me I would want people to do the same. I’m just a very giving person,” she said, adding her view that provincial nd federal leaders had done little to nothing to date. “Albertans – we’re getting it done.”
Damon said Thursday was their first day and that she found the experience overwhelming. “All these people coming up to me crying and saying, ‘I have nothing.’ My heart ached for them and I did as much as I could for them.” Comeau said his experience was similar.
Throughout the community, individuals and businesses have continued to do their part. A group of local mothers held a Mothers’ Day Event Sunday afternoon, and some local businesses have offered to donate a portion of their sales while others have challenged one another to make matching donations. A number of local eateries have offered discounts to Fort McMurray residents and even free meals, as was the case with A&W.
A potluck dinner for evacuees is planned for the Rendez-Vous Thursday at 5:30 p.m.