Saving Saskatchewan – A Tale of Two Waynes

by The Salvation Army in Canada
Categories: EDS, ONG News

Saskatchewan Fire Relief – by Perron S. Goodyear

Wayne MantykaBy day, Wayne Mantyka is a reporter for CTV in Regina.  When a disaster happens in his home Province however, Mantyka becomes a volunteer with The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services.  He first started volunteering for The Salvation Army 6 years ago and sees it as a way of giving back and, as a Christian, to live his faith. 

Such was the case in July of this year when wildfires forced thousands of residents of northern Saskatchewan from their homes. Many stayed for weeks in evacuation centres in Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert as well as Cold Lake, Alberta.

In Saskatoon, The Salvation Army was tasked with providing three meals a day and snacks at the two evacuation centres. The Army also provided in excess of 3,400 clothing vouchers to those displaced.

Mantyka was joined by volunteers from other parts of the Province, as well as from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario at one of the reception centres.  The volunteers assisted by serving food and cleaning up afterwards.

“It’s a lot of work” he says. “I can’t believe how hard everyone works. What makes it fun is the teamwork.  You really do feel you’re part of a team. At the end of the day you leave feeling good about it.”

Wayne Lee

Another Wayne, Wayne Lee arrived at the other reception centre in Saskatoon on July 8 as an evacuee.  While it’s not home, Lee does feel it is first class and that organizations like The Salvation Army are taking excellent care of everyone.

“I almost feel guilty when all I have to do is just sit here and get taken care of by these people who give their time, their efforts and they’re giving so much”, says Lee. “You can’t put words to it.  It’s just amazing.  The high level of care that is here, the commitment of the volunteers, you can tell it’s a labour of love for them.”

As a volunteer, Mantyka has been impressed that the Army’s Emergency Disaster Services is so well organized and everyone, from the top down, works hard to ensure that all needs are being met.  He feels that is part of the culture of the organization. The people in charge aren’t telling others what to do; they’re in there doing it themselves. 

“I came by last night to serve snacks and the Area Commander, your top position in the Province; he was out sweeping the floors”, said Mantyka.  “That is so typical of The Salvation Army, if you’re at the top, chances are when you’re done leading you’ve got a broom somewhere.”

“The one thing that has struck me about the organization is they have respect for everyone they are serving”, he continues. “There’s never a question of do we serve this person or that person.  They don’t judge. You need help; we’re going to help you.”

Wayne Lee agrees, “I know of no other organization that goes to the extent that The Salvation Army does in exemplifying the universal love of Christ.  Nobody works with the marginally segmented portions of the population like The Salvation Army does.  It seems like the tougher the problem, the more open The Salvation Army is.  If all of us in our lives showed that same love and extended that same love of Christ, the world would be a better place to live.”


Perron Goodyear on-sitePerron S. Goodyear is the Divisional Director of Emergency & Disaster Services for the Ontario Great Lakes Division.  He was deployed to Saskatchewan from July 8-20 to assist with The Salvation Army’s relief efforts.