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Ready When the Time Comes: Acklands-Grainger invites Fort McMurray Red Cross team to move in


Red Cross teams have witnessed thousands of acts of kindness as Canadians come together to help those affected by the massive wildfires in Fort McMurray and surrounding communities. 

Last week, Jenn McManus, VP of Alberta operations for the Red Cross, visited the Acklands-Grainger employees in Fort McMurray to recognize one such act of kindness.
Very early in the response, Red Cross received a phone call: “What can we do to help?” asked long-time Ready When the Time Comes partner Acklands-Grainger. With many employees from their Fort McMurray location personally affected, this time would certainly be no exception.
Days later, red vests could be seen hard at work in the company’s Fort McMurray offices and warehouse, where a transitional office had been set up, as Red Cross searched for a more permanent office to continue to work with individuals and families affected by the fires in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Acklands-Grainger groupAcklands-Grainger invited us to move in, and we took it quite literally! Preparing a warm welcome home for Fort McMurray residents was a 24/7 affair, with many Red Crossers sleeping on air mattresses in their newfound home at the company’s office. Meanwhile, Acklands-Grainger employees in Calgary and Edmonton were also expressing their solidarity, working alongside our teams to assist evacuees at shelters.
As employees started gathering for a picture, some stopped to hug and congratulate Linda, who’d just gotten the confirmation that her and her husband would be able to rebuild their home where it once stood in Beacon Hill, a neighborhood badly affected by the fire. As Linda later explained, with a smile that expressed both hurt and incredible strength, this gave her hope: “We have to be strong.”
Just as it had when Acklands-Grainger let Red Cross move in to their space, this gathering felt like a family reunion. This is what true partnerships are made of.
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