Diana Coulter

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Red Cross working in First Nations community impacted by the Alberta fires

As an emergency management director, Angela McKenzie is used to helping others from the Fort McKay First Nation deal with disaster. So, it was doubly challenging when wildfires swept north from Fort McMurray and forced her to flee, along with her new baby and hundreds of others, through dense smoke and flames.

School playground opens on third anniversary of Alberta floods

Three years after flooding destroyed thousands of properties across southern Alberta, a colourful new playground stands outside a brightly restored school in High River.
Where twisted metal, broken branches, thick mud and debris covered the area in 2013, children now swing happily between new play structures at Holy Spirit Academy. Funded by the Canadian Red Cross community grants program and other sponsors, the playground offers a lot of unique features, not only for students but the entire community.

Red vests bring hope: Red Cross helps hospital evacuee in Alberta fires

Until visitors opened the curtains on his hospital window, Ryan Cyr had no idea advancing wildfires had triggered the evacuation of Fort McMurray. A quadriplegic recovering from recent surgery, Cyr was startled to see fire and smoke billowing over a neighbourhood just across the highway from his hospital room. “I could see the flames on top of the hill, and I thought, okay, this isn’t going to be good,” said the 21-year-old.

Red Cross helps hospitalized Alberta fire evacuees

When Robert Waniandy fled the Alberta wildfires with just a garbage bag full of clothes, the 65-year-old had no idea when or where he would see his wife again. The smoke and chaos in Fort McMurray had prompted his wife, Annie Auger, 71, to leave Fort McMurray a few days earlier. When Waniandy, a retired welder, finally reached the evacuation centre at Edmonton’s Expo Centre, he felt so sick that he could only lie listlessly on his cot. Concerned volunteers transferred him to the Royal Alexandra hospital, where he discovered his wife had also been admitted with health issues.

Evacuated twice but spirits still high

Running from dense smoke and approaching flames is frightening enough the first time. But getting evacuated twice from the burning forests of northern Alberta still didn’t faze Mike Morrison and his fellow scaffolders.

Red Cross volunteers from near and far helping those affected by Alberta fires

Need help with gas? Have a question about your accommodation? Don’t worry. Volunteers with Canadian Red Cross are ready, well-trained and able to help with hundreds of concerns raised daily by people forced to flee the Alberta wildfires.

"They're so helpful, it's just crazy" - Alberta fire evacuees share experience

Ever since Megan Whitmore ran from her house, strapped her naked baby in his car seat and fled ahead of advancing flames, the Fort McMurray mother says she can’t say enough nice things about Canadian Red Cross and its amazing donors.

Far from home among friends: Red Cross volunteers come from across Canada to help in Saskatchewan

Lynn MacLeod didn’t worry when she volunteered to fly across the country to help people affected by the Saskatchewan wildfires. She knew that she was well-prepared.

“I’m so happy for all of our Red Cross training! It means I can go anywhere in the country and know how to help,” says MacLeod, who is from Prince Edward Island.

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The purpose of this blog, quite simply, is to talk. This blog is an opportunity for Red Cross staff, volunteers, supporters and friends to share stories about what is happening in your community and the important work you are doing. It is a tool that will help keep all of us connected.

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