Financial donations appreciated

Canadian Red Cross wants to remind the public that it will only accept financial donations for evacuees from the Slave Lake wildfire. Red Cross does not accept nor distribute donations of food, clothing or other materials.

Canadian Red Cross wants to remind the public that it will only accept financial donations for evacuees from the Slave Lake wildfire.

Red Cross does not accept nor distribute donations of food, clothing or other materials.

Leila Daoud, Red Cross public affairs co-ordinator, said people who want to donate goods have very good intentions.

“They want to donate goods because they know people have lost almost everything in some cases,” Daoud said on Thursday.

About one-third of Slave Lake was destroyed by wildfire on the weekend. The town, with a population of about 7,000, was evacuated on Sunday.

She said financial donations ensure evacuees get what they need, items are new and safe and standardized so everyone, based on their needs, gets similar items.

For example if someone donated a crib, it would have to be checked to make sure it’s in good working condition and hasn’t been recalled.

The mattress would need to be inspected to ensure it wasn’t soiled, she said.

“The amount of labour and logistics to ensure someone is getting a safe item would be overwhelming.

Financial donations really let us accurately provide for evacuees.

“We have highly-trained volunteers on the ground. They’re in the shelters. They’re interacting with evacuees and they can see exactly what’s needed right now, at the moment.”

More than 2,000 evacuees have registered at several shelters, including two large shelters in Athabasca and High Prairie, from Slave Lake and smaller communities in the area.

Daoud said it’s hard to say how much money Red Cross has received so far.

“There’s so many donations coming in from all around Canada and from different sources. We’ve got online donations, the 1-800 number, in-person walk-in donations from across the country, as well as text-message donations.”

People wishing to support the Canadian Red Cross Alberta fires response can make a financial donation by calling 1-800-418-1111, donating through www.redcross.ca, or contacting the Red Cross office in Red Deer at 403-346-1241.

The office is located at 105-5301 43rd St.

Cheques made payable to the Canadian Red Cross, earmarked Alberta Fires, can be mailed to the Canadian Red Cross National Office, 170 Metcalfe Street, Suite 300, Ottawa, Ontario, K2P 2P2.

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