Just over a week until the one-year anniversary of the Fort McMurray wildfire, the Canadian Red Cross has released its one-year donor report.
An unprecedented $323-million was collected through the generosity of Canadians, and by government matching.
As the residents evacuated the northern Alberta community, $189 million was collected to help the people of Fort McMurray. The federal government matched $104 million, and the Alberta government matched $30 million.
Nearing the 12-month mark post fire, the Red Cross says it has spent $244 million by providing assistance to residents, businesses and community groups.
The head of the Canadian Red Cross says while three-quarters of the donations have been handed out, support will continue for the community.
“To the residents of the Fort McMurray area, as long as you need us, the Red Cross will be with you,” Conrad Sauvé said in a statement.
The majority of the money – $183 million – was given to nearly 65,000 families who may have not have had insurance, or not enough coverage after last May’s fire.
Another $28.5 million was allocated to more than 3,200 small businesses to help with expenses like replacing equipment, moving or cleaning.
Lastly, $24 million was spent to help community groups or initiatives.
Fort McMurray Mayor Melissa Blake says her community is thankful for the assistance.
“Your support has sustained us at every step of this journey and we are deeply grateful for your kindness and generosity,” Blake said in a statement.
The Red Cross says donations made specifically to the wildfire relief are held in a separate account and only spent on the Fort McMurray campaign.
Approximately $8.5 million has been set aside to pay for costs associated with the fundraising efforts as well as a fund for future disasters.
The Canadian Red Cross says anyone still needing assistance from the fire can call 1-888-553-5505.
Watch below: It’s been almost a full year since the Fort McMurray wildfire forced nearly 90,000 residents to flee. Tom Vernon looks at the Red Cross’ recovery efforts.