September 3, 2017 6:43 pm

Winnipeggers pitch in to help wildfire evacuees

Pet Valu employees pack dog and cat food for evacuees on Sunday.

Timm Bruch / Global News

As three communities in Manitoba continue to face down a massive wildfire, Winnipeg residents are offering all the support they can give.

Small gestures took place throughout the city Sunday, as groups looked to pitch in to help their evacuated neighbours.

READ MORE: 1,500 more evacuated as Manitoban wildfire rages on 

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Pam Shelby, who helped donate more than 100 bags of food to abandoned dogs and cats in Wasagamack on Sunday, said it was the least she could do.

“When you’re offered evacuation, there’s not always room to take the family dog or the family cat, so we’re helping those animals in need,” Shelby said. “Every dog needs a dinner.”

Shelby, along with other Pet Valu employees and owners, donated and loaded bags of pet food for community workers to take north.

“A lot of us were sitting around a table having dinner and we started seeing things light up on social media,” Shelby said. “So we went, ‘How can we help?'”

“We want to step up and make sure when something happens at home, that we’re here.”

Shelby wasn’t the only one organizing events to help the evacuees on Sunday. Across the city, in front of the temporary shelter in Winnipeg’s Convention Centre, Jennifer Spence-Clarke and the Southern Thunderbird Drums Group banded together to offer evacuated residents food, clothing and song.

READ MORE: Poplar River First Nation wildfire under control: Manitoba

As evacuees from Wasagamack, Garden Hill, and St. Theresa Point grabbed free bannock from helpers, Spence-Clarke and the rest of the group sang a song around their drum.

“We’re going to offer up some good intentions as much as we can today to feed the people,” Spence-Clarke said. “[It’s] not just physically feeding them food, but also feeding their spirit.”

“We’re all in life together and we have to take care of each other.”

To also get involved, go to the Canadian Red Cross’ website here or visit any Pet Valu location in Winnipeg.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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