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Fort McMurray moms centre of attention on difficult Mother’s Day

Click to play video: 'Fort McMurray mother’s still feel appreciation despite being displaced'
Fort McMurray mother’s still feel appreciation despite being displaced
WATCH ABOVE: Fort McMurray families are still remembering Mother's Day after going through a difficult time being displaced by the wildfire that devastated their community. Sarah Offin reports – May 8, 2016

EDMONTON – With thousands of families displaced by the Fort McMurray wildfire, and many still not even sure they still have a home standing, Sunday marked a difficult Mother’s Day for many across Alberta.

So when a client asked Angela Slomba what she was doing for Mother’s Day, the answer was easy.

“Let’s come together and do a Mother’s Day for Fort McMurray moms and it just happened like that,” Slomba said.

The owner of Boulevard Salon in Sherwood Park opened her doors to give haircuts, shampoos and styles to mothers who fled the wildfires in Fort McMurray for the safety of Edmonton.

On Sunday, over 40 moms, along with their family members, were treated to a day of pampering including make-up and face painting.

“A lot of the moms were shy at first,” Slomba said. “But the minute we took their hand and sat them down– they just relaxed– I let them talk about whatever they wanted. If they wanted to talk about their house or their family or the baby that’s inside of them– they don’t know what it’s going to be– they want help picking names.”

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Each mom left with at least one new outfit to go along with her new look thanks to kind donations from salon clients.

“It made us smile,” Slomba said. “One mom said it best: ‘It was just nice for an hour or two not to have to think about anything and just be pampered and that’s what we wanted.’ We didn’t want {them} to think about anything.”

Watch below: Rachel Notley breaks down wishing Fort McMurray moms a Happy Mother’s Day

Click to play video: 'Alberta Premier Rachel Notley fights back tears as she discusses Fort McMurray wildfire'
Alberta Premier Rachel Notley fights back tears as she discusses Fort McMurray wildfire

“Our hearts go out to their families this Mother’s Day,” Premier Rachel Notley said at a press conference updating the wildfire situation Sunday.

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The premier became teary-eyed while referring to the Fort McMurray mothers who lost two children last week in a horrific crash on Highway 881, a road that was being used by evacuees.

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READ MORE: Fort McMurray triplet killed fleeing fires was daughter of deputy fire chief

“I’m hoping in this crisis to spend a few minutes with my children,” Notley said. “That not all of us can do that is definitely an awful tragedy so today Mother’s Day, all of us in Alberta are thinking of you who have suffered these losses.”

Watch below: Minister of Municipal Affairs, Danielle Larivee shares a Mother’s Day message:

Click to play video: 'Minister Danielle Larivee offers a happy Mother’s Day to Fort McMurray moms'
Minister Danielle Larivee offers a happy Mother’s Day to Fort McMurray moms

“Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers in Alberta but especially to those tens of thousands of moms who are not spending them the way the expected, in the place they expected,” Municipal Affairs Minister Danielle Larivee said at a press conference in Edmonton Sunday. “I can’t imagine how difficult it is and I’m certain that your children and partners are letting you know how important you are and how valuable you are and I would certainly like to express that sentiment.”

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Larivee urged the families to stay strong and stick together.

“Unfortunately, it’s hard to deal with sometimes. But life does go on and events such as this really allow and provide that opportunity for families to come together, for friends to come together, for neighbours to come together – to celebrate what we have,” she said. “I know that the same will be true of Fort McMurray.”

Opposition Wildrose leader Brian Jean, who is from Fort McMurray, tweeted a photo of him and his mother on Sunday with a caption that said ‘Thank you to first responders in #ymm for getting my Mom out safe so I can still say I love you this Mother’s Day.’

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Slomba said it was difficult to hear some of the stories from the Fort McMurray mothers.

“A lot of them were at work. They pretty much had 20 minutes to leave,” she said. “I don’t think they’re coping at all – they’re still in disbelief,” she added. “They don’t know what’s going on besides what they read on social media– they’re just still in shock.”

Slomba said all of the mothers were thankful for the support they’ve gotten while in Edmonton and from around the province.

“One mom said she went shopping to the mall and stood in the middle of the mall not knowing where to even start,” she said. “Complete strangers came up {to her} and said ‘ok, let’s start with the basics. Let’s start with bras and underwear.’ Complete strangers just took their hands and said ‘let’s just go.'”

Slomba said she believes only time will help heal the devastation the Fort McMurray mothers have gone through and echoed a sentiment many Albertans are sharing.

“We’ve had {Fort McMurray} supporting us, so it’s time to start supporting them.”

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