Dear friends,

We havCharity Intelligence Canadae all been saddened by the catastrophe that has devastated the community of Fort McMurray. It is heartening to see the steadfast and resilient Albertan spirit kicking in full gear, yet again. Canadians responded immediately and generously to the victims of the fires.

Many of us are wondering how we too can make a real and impactful result if we donate to help the more than 80,000 evacuees, or towards the future rebuild of Fort McMurray.

We introduced our clients to Charity Intelligence at a recent Mackie Wealth Group event. Please click on links below to learn more about CI’s work.

Charity Intelligence advises donors to think “local”.  Give to local charities — the foodbanks that are feeding the evacuees, and Fort McMurray's local charities that will be essential in getting everyone back on their feet.

Please read below and look at Charity Intelligence’s site for recommendations.

Charity Intelligence’s summary on giving to Fort McMurray:

May 5, 2016

The wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alberta is catastrophic, forcing the evacuation of 80,000 people. Thankfully there have been no lives lost at this stage. This will likely be Canada’s largest disaster, surpassing the 1998 Quebec Ice Storm. The 2011 Slave Lake wildfire destroyed 433 properties, forcing the evacuation of 7,000 people. In Fort McMurray, 80,000 people have been evacuated – this situation looks 11 times more devastating.

All Canadians want to know how to help. Charity Intelligence is recommending:

1. For emergency response to help the evacuees, donate to local charities in Edmonton: Edmonton Food Bank

2. For the rebuilding, local charities in Fort McMurray.

Consider giving to charities other than Canadian Red Cross

As in all disasters, the Canadian Red Cross will receive the lion’s share of donations. This can gobble up disaster response donations, leaving local charities with little money to respond. In looking back over the Lac Megantic train disaster and also the Alberta Floods of 2013, Charity Intelligence was particularly impressed by how local, grassroots charities responded quickly and were able to provide effective disaster help and also lead the rebuilding. Yet very little donations got to these local charities. Only 2% of the donations received by the Canadian Red Cross were passed on to local charities. In this emergency, give differently, and donate to local charities. 

Fort McMurray local charities

When people return to Fort McMurray, its local charities will need donations to help the people. The needs will be greater than ever. Charity Intelligence has pulled from the CRA Charities Listing a full list of Fort McMurray local charities that received donations over $100,000 in 2013 (the most recent year available). Charity Intelligence has a rating and review on only one of these local charities. But given the size of their local support with donations over $100,000, these are the local charities the people of Fort McMurray supported most (see below).

Fort McMurray's disaster response will likely have 2 distinct phases: first, the disaster response helping 80,000 evacuees live and cope in temporary shelter, and second, helping these people rebuild when they return to Fort McMurray.

For Fort McMurray’s evacuees — disaster response

Edmonton's Food Bank — first responder providing food and essentials to so many of the evacuees who have fled to Edmonton. In addition, Edmonton Food Bank will send food shipments to Fort McMurray and other local centres helping helping the evacuees. Click to read Charity Intelligence's report on Edmonton Food Bank

Salvation Army Community in Fort McMurray — the Salvation Army Alberta Fire Response

Read the full article


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