Vincentians rally quickly to assist the families in need from this disaster started very quickly after the flood.
Bishop Henry of the Diocese of Calgary involved SSVP in his committee for long term relief. Calgary Central Council organized volunteers from the Vincentian community to travel by bus to High River and to Siksika Nations to assist in clean up.
At the SSVP National AGA in Ottawa an appeal was made for funds to provide financial backup to Conferences that were providing food for those in need. The strongest appeal came from members of Calgary’s St Francis Youth Conference whose members live in the flood affected area. They were able to tell the sad story of disaster and evacuation. They met with Penny Craig and Michael Thio, the National and the International Presidents. They like all of the Vincentians present were completely taken by their plea for assistance. Contributions came from SSVP Conferences and Councils across Canada as well as from CGI (SSVP International). Many private donors also contributed from both Canada and USA. This relief fund currently sits at over $35,000.00. This money will be used by SSVP Conferences that service the flood affected communities for the purchase of food to feed those in need.
Vincentians had to do more. The Edmonton Council answered the call to assist Holy Spirit School in High River by providing “Back to School” backpacks and school supplies as well as extra cash to purchase what was needed for the kids in need. These backpacks were accepted with the love and gratitude that assures all of us that this community will bounce back from this disaster even stronger that anyone ever thought it could.
But our Society is best working with disaster recovery in the “second wave” response in the service of those in need. This was apparent with SSVP in Edmonton and their experience of assisting in the disaster recovery from the devastating fires in Slave Lake Alberta two year ago. They proved that the strategy of providing clothing, bedding, house hold items and handyman tools only when they are needed results in less waste and efficient delivery. The community that is recovering from disaster knows what they need and when they need it. Often the best time to deliver is when temporary housing has been built and the families are settling in. Highway trailers can be donated for a few months and converted into distribution centres for the disbursement of goods to these families in need. Working with the Calgary Knights of Columbus, Edmonton Vincentians provided a truck load of these items for their distribution to High River and other areas in need. More will be available from our Vincentian family on request.
Word Document with pictures Flood