Holiday Help in High River

Topics: Alberta, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
Taylor Merkley, Red Cross volunteer | December 15, 2014

Freddy  Vasquez

Photo credit: J. Keith Howie

With the holiday season approaching, many High River families are still reeling financially as they try to put their lives back together after the Alberta floods of 2013.

Freddy and Andrea Vasquez of High River, Alberta, whose home was partially destroyed by the disaster, understand this challenge all too well.

“It’s been hard,” says Freddy. “Not just for us, but for the community. I think a lot of people are struggling in so many ways.”

Freddy has been on medical leave since he was diagnosed with a brain tumor and severe head trauma in January 2013, and frequently suffers from debilitating migraines. With Freddy out of work and finances already tight, the family was hit especially hard when the flood destroyed the basement of their home and most of their possessions a few months later. Freddy, Andrea, and their four children are among the thousands of people that the Canadian Red Cross has assisted since the floods.

Now, with Christmas approaching, Red Cross continues to deliver assistance and support to those who need it. As the holidays loom, Freddy worries about how he will afford Christmas gifts for his children. Concern for the future occasionally preoccupies him. “I’m still unable to work,” says Freddy. “I try to keep myself busy so I don’t worry.” But with the help of the Red Cross, Freddy is hopeful that he and his family will emerge from these difficult times stronger than ever.

But many others are still reluctant to seek help. “People are still very prideful,” says Freddy. “I think that is one of the biggest issues. But sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and ask for help. We’re all still hurting.”

In a community still struggling to recover, the Red Cross continues to provide assistance, support, and hope. High River’s Red Cross office is located at 117 Macleod Trail SW. If you were affected by the floods and need assistance, please call 1-866-696-6484.