I really do believe in a thing called “mommy” brain, and I think it was in full effect as I thought I did up a post all about our philanthropic road trip to BC in the middle of July. I was wrong so here it goes! Fires. We know fires all to well after all, it chased my entire city of 88,000 people out in 2016. This year my home province of BC has went up in flames, not just in one place but all over the place and still at this moment in time, two months later, is still on fire.
I have lived in Fort McMurray since 2005 and if there’s one word I could use to sum up what this town is about; GENEROUS. As soon as our city found out about the wildfires in BC, they gathered up a team of volunteers and started collecting donations. Now not just a pickup truck box full, I am talking semi trailers full of items for people displaced and people fighting the fires. I cannot tell you how much it meant to our city to be able to give back to people who gave so much to us while we were evacuated. Those people who worked day after day after day at the Walmart Parking lot collecting + sorting items in the scorching summer weather. You are angels! Including my friend, Nicole. One of the nicest, upbeat, selfless, animal loving woman I know!With being on social media constantly and keeping up with the animal rescue side of the evacuations, I came across a page I was already following based out of Kamloops, BC. This was only just an hour away from where I grew up. The Four Paws Food Bank was onsite at the TRU University taking care of the animal portion of evacuations. They had their own reception center set up that they were taking donations of pet items and giving them to all of the pet owners who needed it. They also looked after animals on site, fostered animals and even babysat animals while their owners were inside doing paperwork. I seen a post made by them that they had gone through hundreds of bags of pet food and were in need of more items.
I made this my mission to try to wrangle them up some supplies that would go directly to them at the reception center. Nicole, my friend and I got talking and decided we would get them items and we would be the ones to bring it to them. We collected pet donations over a few days and loaded up Nicole’s sprinter van to the top! I think a total of 4 days actually!
We drove from Fort McMurray through Edmonton, over to beautiful Jasper, AB. Turned down the highway to Valemont, BC than went straight to Kamloops, BC. It was a super long day for us but we made it and dropped off all our donations. We took a walk through the reception center, although we were in an area where we didn’t see many evacuees, to get to the washroom and I cried. My heart was breaking for all of these people. I knew what exactly they were going through and on top of that, I was also 8 months pregnant at the time.
After the long day we were invite by a childhood family friend to stay at their house for the nice. Thank you to the Sinclair’s for allowing us to stay on such short notice, sleeping in a bed and on the couch was much more comfier than us sleeping in the van with a baby because we totally were going to. The next morning, after a much needed Starbucks stop, we hit the road back to Fort McMurray. Another long long long day! but honestly, it was so worth it. No matter how big or small you contribute, you are still contributing!
I will always remember this trip and will be sure to tell Tenley about her first real volunteer mission after all.
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