There’s no doubt 2016 was a challenging year for many people who experienced disasters such as the Alberta fires and Hurricane Matthew, or who fled their home as a result of armed conflict.

We want to cap off the year by sharing some of the most inspiring Red Cross stories from 2016 to show humanity at its best. What inspired you this year?

1. Jillian Mullowney is a Red Cross volunteer from Newfoundland. We caught up with her in Alberta during the response the wildfires. She describes the impact the Red Cross had on her family after she lost her father in the tragic Cougar helicopter crash in 2009. It’s what sparked her desire to get involved with the Red Cross and give back. Read the full story.

 

2. Canadian Red Cross President and CEO Conrad Sauvé visited Syria and the surrounding region this past year. During this trip, Conrad was presented with a “box of wishes” from Syrian children who were living in a refugee camp. Find out what was in the box.

3. Canadians from coast to coast to coast and of all ages were very generous this year, in support of our work at home and abroad. This young boy warmed our hearts with his sweet letter and donation sent to us by mail.



4. Micheline Lagrenade has been volunteering with the Haitian Red Cross in the town of Jeremie for the past 24 years. The home of this single mother of four up was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew. Despite this, Micheline shows up to volunteer her time at the Red Cross branch every day. Meet Micheline Lagrenade.

5. We met Winky the dog and his human Allan in Fort McMurray in June during the re-entry process after the Alberta fires. Winky is well-known and recognized in the city for his travels with Allan on his Harley motorcycle, sidecar style. We were saddened to hear that Winky recently passed away. Photos and more about Winky.

6. Last year, Mohamad landed in Montreal and became a permanent resident of Canada after leaving Syria as a refugee. His first reflex when he settled in his new home? He wanted to get involved in welcoming other Syrian refugees. Ten days later, he began volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross. Mohamad shares why he got involved. 

7. We know first aid can save lives, but this story of survival of a young woman in harsh winter conditions and her dramatic rescue in Squamish, BC is nothing short of amazing. Read how everything aligned to save a life.

8. This photo of flags raised high by emergency officials in Fort McMurray to welcome home residents after a nearly month-long evacuation as a result of the Alberta fires was sight that brought many people to tears as it symbolized the beginning of recovery from a devastating disaster.

Happy New Year to all our friends and supporters!