SCUGOG: When Anita Turchin pulls into the province of Alberta later this month, she'll be bringing along the hope and donations of hundreds of Ontarians, including many from North Durham.
Working with the Red Cross through her organization Helping Families Across Canada (HFAC), the Cobourg, Ontario resident recently took up a clothing drive to help support Alberta residents affected by the province's recent flooding, many of whom saw their homes ruined and belongings swept away by the overflowing waters of area rivers and creeks.
A state of emergency in the city of Calgary officially ended last Thursday (July 4), with residents now facing a massive clean-up estimated to be upwards of $256 million.
On Monday (July 8), Ms. Turchin stopped in Port Perry to collect clothing at Taylor-Forder Insurance, who put out a call for donations among the office's employees earlier this month. The local donations to Ms. Turchin's HFAC drive were among hundreds from across Durham, including those from individual residents as well as businesses and organizations.
The donations will be driven out to Alberta by Ms. Turchin later this month, although she said that some much-needed items - in particular, rubber boots - have already been sent by courier to Red Cross representatives in that province.
"Any time something like this happens in Canada, I want to be able to help out," said Ms. Turchin, adding that while this collection was her first under the HFAC name, she previously helped collect clothing for the residents of Goderich, Ontario, following a tornado in the small Ontario community in the summer of 2011.
According to Taylor Forder office manager Jenn Michel, more than 20 large garbage bags containing clothes for all ages and sizes were collected by the business, over the course of only four days. The staff initiative, said Ms. Michel, saw the entire office pitching in with various donations including clothing and shoes for children and adults. In addition, more than 1,493 diapers were donated to the drive through the Baby Love Organization, which organizes diaper drives for charitable initiatives.
"Staff approached me about doing something to help," said Ms. Michel. "We were put in contact with Ms. Turchin and it all came together very quickly.
"It's just Canadians helping other Canadians," she said.
HFAC can be found on-line by searching 'Helping Families Across Canada' on Facebook.
Scugog business helps out Alberta