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Days before anniversary of Ft. McMurray wildfire, Red Cross gives spending update
More than a week before the first anniversary of the wildfires that destroyed parts of Fort McMurray, forcing tens of thousands of residents to evacuate – the Red Cross gave an update on their continued work in the area, and thanked donors for giving to the cause Monday.
Officials said in the past year, the Red Cross has raised $323 million through public donations, and the provincial and federal governments.
So far, the Red Cross said about 75 percent of that money had been spent on direct assistance to families, helping community-funded programs and supporting small businesses.
“For every single person affected by the fires, it will be a defining moment in their lives, there will always be a before and after the wildfires of 2016,” Conrad Sauve, President and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross, said.
The situation brought about by the wildfire was the first time in the history of the Red Cross that families evacuated coast-to-coast, meaning the Red Cross did extra work to ensure evacuees were assisted.
In only a few days, 65,000 families were registered with the Red Cross.
“I want to thank every single Canadian who contributed to our cause, and I want to thank the Red Cross for being there for those individuals and organizations that needed it the most,” Wood Buffalo Mayor Melissa Blake said.
On May 3, residents are expected to mark the first anniversary of the fire at Snye Park in Fort McMurray.