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Gratitude from Alberta fire evacuees for Canadians' overwhelming support

Grateful replies from Alberta fire evacuees wanting to thank Canadians for their overwhelming support, poured into Canadian Red Cross just moments after emails went out Wednesday offering evacuees $50 million in immediate financial assistance.

 “I wanted just to say thank you to Canada and all Canadians,” said one evacuee in an emailed reply.

“Thank you so very, very much! As you can imagine, this money is badly needed right now,” replied another person.

Thousands of people forced from their homes last week by wildfires in the Fort McMurray region were notified by email from Red Cross Wednesday that emergency funds will be provided in the next few Canadian Red Cross is providing immediate financial supportdays to evacuees. Adults registered with Red Cross will receive $600 each, and children will receive $300, so families and individuals can buy what they urgently need during this difficult time.

The Red Cross distribution of financial assistance began Wednesday and will be provided to evacuees in various ways – including electronic banking transfers via email, money orders, cash cards or vouchers – depending on people’s current location in Canada and the quickest, most secure way to receive these funds. Red Cross will be contacting all evacuees to confirm their information within the next few days.

Evacuees’ response to this emailed offer of help was instantaneous, and replies arrived within minutes:
  • “Thank you, thank you, thank you!  So very, very kind.  Humbling but I accept.”
  • “I just thought I'd reply by saying thank you so very much. Your assistance is greatly appreciated!!”
  • “I wanted just to say thank you to Canada and all Canadians. I came to Canada almost seven years ago and the way you guys supported us is unbelievable.  Thank you again for all your support. Canada is in my heart.”
  • “Thank you so much. The work you do is incredible.”
  • “Thank you so much for your help and support. Have a great day!”
At a press conference earlier Wednesday, Conrad Sauve, president and CEO of Canadian Red Cross, announced immediate financial assistance was available to evacuees, thanks to the generous outpouring of support from Canadians who have donated more than $67 million so far, to the Red Cross Alberta Fires Appeal.

“People affected by these fires left their homes with almost nothing. We have listened to their needs and developed our plan based on what we heard. This financial assistance allows evacuees to purchase what they require most after this disaster,” said Sauve.

Evacuees who have not yet registered with Red Cross, or do not have a bank account or email address, are still eligible for assistance now and in future, upon registration.

At the press conference, Sauve noted Red Cross help will continue as long as it’s needed, as people return home and work toward rebuilding their lives and communities.

If you're an Alberta fire evacuee, here is more information on receiving Red Cross financial support.
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