How can Ontario residents help the victims of the Fort McMurray Wildfire?

How can Ontario residents help the victims of the Fort McMurray Wildfire?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Ontario residents wanting to help the victims of the Fort McMurray wildfire in Alberta can donate to several organizations. At this time cash is the most needed as this crisis will likely last weeks and the community’s needs will change. Financial donations to the Red Cross will be matched by the Government of Canada. The Alberta Government is also matching donations to the Red Cross. It is a great way to maximize your donation.

Other Financial Donations
CanadaHelps, a one-stop shop for donating or fundraising for any registered Canadian charity online, has put together all the organizations that are supporting the residents and first responders. They have organized them into three categories: directly providing relief, assisting in long term rebuilding efforts and supporting fundraising efforts.

Fort McMurray United Way has also created a page to make donations to the victims of the wildfire and the long term rebuilding needs.

Donation of Goods
For those who want to donate goods, see the United Way Alberta Capital Region's webpage and follow the Edmonton Emergency Relief Services Facebook page for the most current updates.

If you have goods to donate see the following guest blog for how to turn your stuff into donations. The best thing is to follow the agencies on their website and social media to watch for what is needed and then look for ways you can help.

Connecting with Loved Ones
If you still need to connect with evacuated family members, call the Alberta Red Cross at 1-888-350-6070. It is very important for evacuees to register as it will help the province and organizations responding understand the evacuee’s needs. The province is setting up an online registry which should be ready within days.


Finding social and community support in Alberta
211 in Alberta can help evacuees and those supporting them find help during and after the crisis, like victims services.

You can reach the Alberta 211 call centres on the following toll-free numbers:
>Calgary - Central Alberta & Alberta South 1-855-266-1605
>Edmonton - Alberta North - 1-888-482-4696


Finding social and community support in Ontario
Individuals affected by the fires in Alberta who arrive in Toronto are able to call the Red Cross's Personal Disaster Assistance number at 416-676-8559. They will conduct a needs assessment and provide disaster response services such as emergency feeding, clothing, lodging, personal services and transportation as per their national disaster assistance guidelines.

Evacuees and their family members living in Ontario can call 211 to find services in your community.

For more information on the agencies helping evacuees and the requests for help, see the following information compiled by 211 Alberta.

Red Cross
Online at
Text REDCROSS to 30333 to donate $5 or 45678 to donate $10.
Phone 1-800-418-1111
Or in person at any local Red Cross office

Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is supporting the first responders and evacuees as well.


The province of Alberta is providing updates every day on what they are learning and doing as this crisis continues. They can be found here.

To see videos inside two of the evacuation centres in Alberta, see the links below
Canadian Press -