Community foundations across Alberta unite for Fort McMurrayTuesday, May 10th, 2016 | Guest Post
(EDMONTON, AB) – As first responders and frontline organizations continue to address the immediate crisis in Fort McMurray, community foundations from across Alberta are pooling their resources to create a Rebuilding Fort McMurray Fund.
Although the present emergency is still unfolding, community foundations understand that after immediate needs are met the process of rebuilding Fort McMurray will require long-term financial commitment.
“Recovery will take time,” Martin Garber-Conrad, Edmonton Community Foundation’s CEO says. “We want the people affected by these tragic events to know that community foundations across Alberta are here for the long haul.”
Edmonton Community Foundation has today contributed $100,000 to seed the fund and community foundations throughout the province are committing additional resources.
“Based on initial conversations with other funders, we expect the fund to quickly grow well beyond the initial contribution,” Garber-Conrad says.
This initiative is made possible by:
- The Calgary Foundation — Eva Friesen, President & CEO
- Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta — Tracey Vavrek, CEO
- Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta — Charleen Davidson Executive Director
- Banff Canmore Community Foundation —Lorraine Widmer, Executive Director
- Red Deer and District Community Foundation — Kristine Bugayong, CEO
- Community Foundation of Medicine Hat and Southeastern Alberta — Trish Richard, Coordinator Philanthropic Services
- Community Foundations of Canada — Ian Bird, President
- Edmonton Community Foundation — Martin Garber-Conrad, CEO
The Fund will focus on restoring and enhancing the social infrastructure of the Fort McMurray community, especially things not covered by governments or insurance.
“Canadians have shown once again just how resilient and encouraging we are,” Ian Bird, President, Community Foundations of Canada, says. “Community foundations across Alberta and our network have come together to support the long-term rebuilding and recovery efforts in Fort McMurray — working closely with others in the right way at the right time. A disaster of this scale impacts the region, but its effects are also felt much wider as so many people and families across Canada have a deep connection and sense of belonging to the Northern Alberta community. ”
Community foundations will be working closely with United Way of Fort McMurray and other United Ways in Alberta to ensure rebuilding funds are used efficiently and effectively for the benefit of the community.
However, given the ongoing nature of the wildfire situation in Northeastern Alberta we encourage people to continue providing support for emergency needs directly to the Canadian Red Cross or to the United Way of Fort McMurray.