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​Eight stories that warmed our hearts this year

There’s no doubt 2016 was a challenging year for many people who experienced disasters such as the Alberta fires and Hurricane Matthew, or who fled their home as a result of armed conflict.

​We want to cap off the year by sharing some of the most inspiring and heartwarming Red Cross stories from 2016 to show humanity at its best. What inspired you this year?

School playground opens on third anniversary of Alberta floods

Three years after flooding destroyed thousands of properties across southern Alberta, a colourful new playground stands outside a brightly restored school in High River.
Where twisted metal, broken branches, thick mud and debris covered the area in 2013, children now swing happily between new play structures at Holy Spirit Academy. Funded by the Canadian Red Cross community grants program and other sponsors, the playground offers a lot of unique features, not only for students but the entire community.

Discovering Westport: a small community with a big heart

A man in Red Cross vest standing beside a Red Cross van

End of mission is a time of deep reflection and slow adjustment. When I was deployed to Germany as a Canadian Red Cross delegate, my life changed drastically. Working as an interpreter in a German Red Cross transit camp for refugees, I experienced a complete shift in lifestyle. I went from a quiet 9-5 to non-stop 12 hour shifts, welcoming a thousand refugees every night. I adjusted quickly because the rapid pace of response left no room for easing in. When the end of my mission came, I braced myself for another major life change: going back to normal. 

A man in Red Cross vest standing beside a Red Cross van

Take the #unselfie challenge on Giving Tuesday

There’s Black Friday, a day to kick off holiday spending, and there’s Cyber Monday, a day for online sales. But did you know about Giving Tuesday? This year, Tuesday, December 1 will mark the start of charitable holiday giving.

Photo of the day: Six-year-old Zeyan donates to Nepal for his birthday

It was a great surprise at our Burnaby, B.C. office as six-year-old Zeyan Walji dropped off a whopping $881 to support the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund. Zeyan asked his friends and family for cash donations to help people in Nepal, in lieu of other gifts for his birthday.

Photos: Cyclone Pam causes extensive destruction in Vanuatu

Thousands of people have been affected after Cyclone Pam, a category 5 storm, made landfall in Port Vila, Vanuatu, on Friday, March 13. This was the strongest tropical storm to make landfall since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013. 

Alberta student makes giving a part of life

It has always been in Tory Dalrymple's nature to give back. On her eighth birthday, she asked her guests to donate to charity instead of bringing a gift. Since then, the 13-year-old from High River, Alberta, has made giving a part of her life. After learning about the Ebola crisis in school, she set her sights on making a donation to the Red Cross. 

Haiti recovering five years after devastating earthquake

It was the largest Red Cross response ever to a single country. The Red Cross helped one in two Haitians, about five million people. After the 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, individual Canadians and governments generously donated $222 million to the Canadian Red Cross to support the tremendous emergency and recovery efforts. 

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About The Blog

The purpose of this blog, quite simply, is to talk. This blog is an opportunity for Red Cross staff, volunteers, supporters and friends to share stories about what is happening in your community and the important work you are doing. It is a tool that will help keep all of us connected.

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