At first reluctant to ask for help, Fort McMurray man finds overwhelming support

Topics: Alberta, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada, Our Impact on the Ground
October 26, 2016

Everett Snow lost his Fort McMurray home to the wildfires in May and turned to the Canadian Red Cross for assistance.

Everett Snow, left, lost his Fort McMurray home to the wildfires in May and turned to the Canadian Red Cross for assistance.

Everett Snow is a man who likes to give back as much as he can, and for this he credits the example set for him growing up.

“My mother volunteered for the Red Cross at least from the time that I was kid until I can remember,” he recalls, with his childhood home in Cape Breton often full of homemade quilts, crutches and other supplies ready to provide to those in need.

However, after losing his Fort McMurray home to the wildfires in May, Everett found himself to be the one in need.

“I lost everything that I had – clothing, computer, any little trinkets or toys that a guy would try to fill his timewith, my piano, pictures of my mother and father – both who are passed away now,” he says. “Anything that was memorable for me that I wanted to keep, I can never get that again.”

Everett says he was reluctant at first, but after encouragement from friends, he decided to make an appointment with the Canadian Red Cross to see what help was available for him.

“I tried not to go to the Red Cross for the simple reason that I thought there were people out there who needed it more than I really did, but I wasn’t able to come around with bills and financial needs,” he explains.

“I know you see lots of tears down there but when my caseworker came back out just to talk to me the second time, I could barely even speak to her. I couldn’t believe what was available.”

Thanks to the generosity of Canadians, the Red Cross was able to provide Everett with financial support for rent, food and bills, as well as replacing his work gear lost to the fires.


“Across the country, the support was overwhelming," he says. "It’s hard to believe that Canada could come together that quick within days. The support for Fort McMurray has been unbelievable.”

Through his experiences during the fires, Everett’s sense of giving back was not lost. He spent a week during his evacuation delivering donated supplies to evacuees in Boyle and Lac La Biche. Upon re-entering Fort McMurray in June, he loaded up a van and delivered donated goods to the Wood Buffalo Food Bank.
 “Since this happened, I’ve seen a lot of good-willed people step up to the plate,” Everett says.

And that’s not something Everett thinks will stop any time soon as his community rebuilds.

“The giving keeps on giving right now.”

Evacuees looking for assistance from Red Cross can find resources here