Lac-Mégantic assistance program makes great strides

Topics: Quebec, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
October 17, 2013

Lac-Mégantic assistance program makes great strides

As one of the largest non-profit organizations in the country, the Canadian Red Cross works tirelessly to provide aid and relief to those who need it most, both in Canada and abroad. Recently, the province of Quebec was at the centre of one of the biggest emergencies and disasters in Canada following the Lac-Mégantic train derailment and fire. 

The derailment and Canadian Red Cross response
On the night of July 6, 2013, a freight train derailed in downtown Lac-Mégantic, creating an enormous fire that spread quickly through the area. Immediately, the Red Cross mobilized teams of volunteers and deployed emergency equipment to Lac-Mégantic, as volunteers from all over Quebec flocked to assist evacuees.

The three-stage assistance program
The next step for the Canadian Red Cross was to establish an assistance program for those impacted by the disaster in Lac-Mégantic. The program has three stages. First, volunteers providing emergency aid - including food, clothing and shelter - to evacuees who could not return home. Second, the Canadian Red Cross is offering short-term recovery assistance, which includes everything from help with funeral and relocation costs to inventory replacement. The final stage is long-term recovery assistance. Through funds collected by the Canadian Red Cross, individuals affected by the disaster will gain much-needed resources. To date, the efforts have raised more than $12 million.

The Canadian Red Cross made several adjustments to the program based both on affected individuals' needs and the amount of funding collected. For instance, assistance for students and school staff has been increased to $500,000 to better identify difficulties faced by Lac-Mégantic youth in the wake of the disaster and to establish the activities and programs they need to recover.

Furthermore, the Canadian Red Cross announced that the administrative costs for the fundraising would not exceed 5 percent, which ensures that 95 cents of every dollar will go to those impacted by the disaster.

Make a difference in Canada or abroad. You can donate to the Canadian Red Cross today and aid humanitarian relief efforts.

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