Canadian Red Cross continues helping region recover from 2011 disaster with launch of Northern Alberta Wildfires Community Projects Fund
Additional $2 million fund to focus on community development and recovery
(Slave Lake, AB) April 12, 2012: The Canadian Red Cross is launching the Northern Alberta Wildfires Community Projects Fund that will provide $2 million in additional funding to groups in communities impacted by the 2011 northern Alberta wildfires and subsequent flooding. This initiative will assist community members to recover from the largest disaster in Alberta’s history.
“The scale of this disaster was massive,” said Kate Wood, volunteer chairperson of the committee. “But the response of Canadians across the country was equally as generous. In announcing this fund today, Red Cross is continuing to channel that goodwill and help affected communities through this long recovery process.”
Funding may cover community development projects, community events or support in assisting individuals and families impacted by the wildfires. The fund focuses on projects initiated by groups of community members.
To be considered for funding, a project must meet one of four objectives:
- Benefit members of communities affected by the 2011 Northern Alberta Wildfires and/or subsequent flooding;
- Assist with community resources or programs eliminated or affected by the wildfires;
- Address imminent health and/or safety problems related to the wildfires;
- Better prepare for future disasters.
A committee of volunteers, chaired by Kate Wood with members of the community, will manage the fund and will use set criteria in selecting proposed projects.The application deadline is May 31, 2012, with approved projects expected to be announced by the end of June 2012.
“As past president of the Canadian Red Cross, a veteran Red Cross volunteer with 30 years experience and her career as a lawyer, Kate brings a wealth of experience to this committee,” said Steve Armstrong, Alberta Provincial Director, Canadian Red Cross. “We look forward to her leadership and vision.”
Please consult the Northern Alberta Wildfires Community Projects Fund Guidelines for eligibility criteria at www.redcross.ca/slavelake or from the Red Cross office in Slave Lake. Application forms and guidelines are also available online or from the office.
Community development projects previously approved include $400,000 for rent and improvements for the interim Slave Lake library, supply of a new dishwasher for Centennial Daycare, and first aid kits, among many others. These investments were allocated from the overall donations and will not impact this new Community Projects Fund. For the full list of projects approved to date, see www.redcross.ca/slavelake.
The Canadian Red Cross also continues to provide support and recovery assistance to individuals and families who have been directly affected by the wildfires. For individuals who are experiencing financial or psychological hardship, please contact the Red Cross in Slave Lake to set up an appointment with a caseworker.
As part of the relief and recovery operation, Red Cross registered more than 16,000 people, distributed $770,000 in direct aid to 4,500 people, mobilized more than 350 volunteers and staff (57,000 hours to date), provided advocacy and psychological support, and invested in community projects to build resiliency. A permanent office in Slave Lake has also been established to continue with long-term recovery efforts and help prepare for future emergencies.
Donations received by the Red Cross for the Northern Alberta Wildfire fund total $5.5 million to date. All donations have gone directly to support the Northern Alberta Wildfires relief and recovery operation. Expenses include:
- $770,000 in direct aid (food, clothing, shelter, rent, utilities, mortgage payments, etc.)
- $400,000 for rent and improvements for Slave Lake interim library
- $529,000 for staff and volunteers
- $229,000 for Red Cross Slave Lake office and facility
- $815,000 for transportation and housing of aid workers
The Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and 187 National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world.
For more information, or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Leila Daoud, Public Affairs Coordinator
Canadian Red Cross - Alberta
Phone: 780-504-4535 or 780-702-2542