For those of you who have been wondering why I've been away for the past week or so, all the devastation on the news coming from Calgary and Southern Alberta is the answer. No, I wasn't evacuated as I live in a high-up suburb in Calgary; but I have been helping out with those who were.
This past week, I've seen the faces of those who have been affected by the flood waters from Calgary's Chinatown, and I've been using my Cantonese and Mandarin skills to help bridge the communications gap between those helping and those residents who need it. But while I've been assisting one segment of the population affected by this disaster, there are many more that still need help. You're probably wondering how you, the reader from outside of Southern Alberta, can help, right?
Tales of the volunteer spirit coming to the rescue may warm the heart for a short while, but it is cold comfort for those who are still longing for home. The Canadian Red Cross has been tireless in their work helping provide comfort and relief, and will continue to do so until the last affected person is able to return. I've seen first hand the tireless work they have been doing, and they need your support to keep that effort going.
Non-profits have also been hit hard by this disaster - the Calgary Drop-In Centre, the Alpha House, the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter and the Calgary Chinese Community Service Association just to name a few. All of these organizations (amongst many others) operate out of buildings that were evacuated and/or flooded. And while they are slowly resuming normal services, these front-line organizations need financial assistance to keep up their good work post-disaster. Plus, the financial burden of repairing homes will mean more will come to rely on Food Banks like the ones in Calgary and High River (run by the Salvation Army).
There are many people and places who can use a hand, and while I am fortunate enough to have been unaffected by the ravages of flood water, those who have can use the help you generously provide.
No matter how you help, on behalf of Alberta: thank you.