Alberta Floods - holiday happiness in High River

Topics: Alberta, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada
February 06, 2014

When Carrie-Lynn Nelson’s kids play outside their High River home, they no longer find a neat cul-de-sac filled with families and friends. Four neighbouring homes are being torn down and more will likely follow, says Nelson. “Our neighbourhood was badly hit by the flood. Families are moving away; homes are being demolished all around us. It’s very hard,” says Nelson.

That’s why a little good news, just before the Christmas holidays, from the kids’ school, École Senator Riley, was especially welcome, says Nelson.

“I was so surprised when I heard the Red Cross was helping the kids in this way. It’s just wonderful.”

In High River, officials from Foothills School Division 38 and Christ The Redeemer Catholic Schools wanted to help flood-affected students and their families with the extra stress and financial strain that can come with the holidays. In response, the Red Cross offered preloaded cash cards worth $500 to about 1,000 families at six High River schools. Other families, identified by the Red Cross, in Calgary and on First Nations, were also offered additional seasonal assistance.

“It was a great help at the perfect time when there’s stress on families wondering how to make it a special Christmas for kids who have been through so much,” said Paul Dunphy, principal of Notre Dame High School in High River where many families received VISA cards.