There’s only one element that continues to flood in more quickly and with more power than the water that has put these Southern Alberta towns and cities in local states of emergencies.
And that’s support.
Because after receiving an outpouring of supplies and goods over the past few days, the Bow Valley and Region Community Clean Up Effort is no longer accepting donations and instead, are focusing on getting the word out to anyone who needs help: cleaning their basements or moving waterlogged furniture, etc. Organizers are also getting in touch with outlying communities — like Morley, Exshaw, High River, Bragg Creek and Calgary — to see what they can provide for them.
“Anyone who wants to lend a hand can ask around or go door-to-door to see who needs help and then let us know where they are and what we can do. People can be very shy to come forward,” organizer and Canmorite Crystal Shimoon said on Monday, June 24. “Anybody that needs anything — there have been offers to help from all over.”
However, the best way to stay up-to-date on what relief efforts require attention is to check the Bow Valley and Region Community Clean Up Effort’s Facebook page, which has more than 4,500 likes after its creation on Wednesday, June 19.
Shimoon also said that the donation room at the Canmore Legion is “absolutely stocked full” and that physical labourers as well as electricians and excavator operators have volunteered to lend helping hands.
“The response has been unbelievable. I cannot even believe it,” Shimoon said. “We have an incredible community, willing to do anything and put themselves out there.”
She’s received messages on the Bow Valley and Region Community Clean Up Effort Facebook page from as far away as South Africa and Australia and as close as displaced residents from Calgary who have reached out to see how they could help their fellow Albertans.
“The whole province is a community,” she said.
The donation room is currently packed: toys from children (who came to drop them off themselves) along with food, bedding, clothing, and books.
The group also sent a truckload of supplies to Morley on Sunday, June 23.
And yesterday when Shimoon posted on Facebook that a person needed help with an animal rescue along with a phone number to contact them on, that person’s phone began to ring before Shimoon could walk into the next room to tell them that she had posted their number.
“There has been so many touching moments. I’ve teared up so many times in the past few days. It’s been beautiful.”