On May 4th a former RMHCNA family arrived at our doors after travelling for 10 hours overnight after evacuating from Fort McMurray. Not knowing where else to go, the mom told our staff that she said to her husband, “Just take us to Ronald McDonald House. I know we’ll be safe there.”
As more and more phone calls started to come from families with children with medical needs who needed our help, we started to put emergency supports in place. A request for help went out to our network of volunteers and partners, and we were overwhelmed by the incredible response. Within hours we had people arriving with beds, food, extra towels, linens and everything else we needed to provide temporary accommodation for these exhausted families. A crew of volunteers arrived to help us repurpose rooms throughout the House into temporary accommodation and to furnish nearby apartments which were donated as news spread of our need. By nightfall we had rooms ready for nine additional families.
As night fell after that very long Wednesday and we listened to gentle snores from the family who were calling classroom home, we were all truly humbled at the ever ready support from our RMHCNA family.
As the next few days unfolded we continued to receive such incredible support for these displaced families – clothing, gift cards, extra meals, even doggie daycare for a family airlifted in with their baby and pet pooch!
To be able to support these families at such short notice, to provide safety and comfort during this time of incredible stress: none of it could have happened without the care and kindness of our community, ever ready to support our families during their times of greatest need.