Wildfires in Alberta kept Salvation Army busy this spring

Salvation Army EDS teams served over 12,000 meals to evacuees this spring
by Alberta

Spring 2019 saw thousands of Alberta residents evacuated due to wildfires, and The Salvation Army was there every step of the way offering support, Emotional and Spiritual care, hot meals, and more.

In total, three Salvation Army Emergency & Disaster Services (EDS) canteens were deployed to serve meals to evacuees of the Maxmillian Complex fire and the Chuckegg fire, with two teams also being sent to reception centres using on-site commercial kitchens. In all, 26 people were deployed from Alberta, B.C. Saskatchewan, and Manitoba, for a total of 1,754 hours.

“Although we hope we never have to respond, when we do, it is always a privilege to come alongside people when they need it the most,” says Divisional EDS Director, Carolynn Barkhouse. “We hope that what we do, be it providing a cup of coffee, a kind word, or just a listening ear, lets people see a spark of light during what is a dark time in their lives.”

Between May 22 and June 30, The Salvation Army EDS teams served 12,433 meals, 5,512 snacks, and 6353 drinks. 430 people also received Emotional and Spiritual Care.

The Salvation Army was able to purchase food and supplies locally throughout this response thanks to the monetary donations received from the Alberta Fires fund. This allowed us to support the local economy of the affected area, and gave us more freedom to purchase exactly what we needed without trying to find warehouse storage during a crisis. We were able to focus on helping, rather than managing.

“It is important to us that we assist every way we can,” says Barkhouse. “Purchasing locally is a simple but effective way of giving extra support, both to the evacuees and the communities that reach out to help them.”

We’d like to thank all of our staff and volunteers for their dedication and hard work through this busy wildfire season. Also, a huge thank you to every person who made a donation to the Alberta Fires fund – you have helped us serve people experiencing a very traumatic emergency, and your support has made a difference in easing their suffering. Thank you for helping Give Hope Today.