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Edmonton-area donation drives collecting supplies for Fort McMurray flood evacuees

Edmonton-area donation drives collecting supplies for Fort McMurray flood evacuees
WATCH ABOVE: As Fort McMurray deals with devastation from the flooding, it didn't take long for people to organize ways to help. Several donation drives have popped up in the Edmonton region. Nicole Stillger looks at how you can support those affected.

A collection of supplies is growing at Allwest Furnishings in Edmonton.

“When a community like [Fort McMurray] that has given so much to this province, this country needed some supplies — our staff, suppliers and friends have come forward,” Sam Shaw, owner of Allwest Furnishings Ltd., said.

People are donating items like food, water, diapers and hygiene products to be shipped north.

“When you start looking at the issues of the oil and gas sector and COVID-19, and now flooding — it just was an opportunity for us to go and try to help with things that the residents in Fort McMurray need,” he said.

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READ MORE: ‘You don’t know if your home is still standing’: Fort McMurray man’s house, workplace submerged amid flooding

Employees at the Shell Scotford refinery were also collecting supplies for Fort McMurray.

“[We] take donations, load up trailers and just start making runs to try to help out up there,” spokesperson Joe Elliott said Tuesday.

Trailers are set up at Average Joes in Sherwood Park and the Bears Den Pub in Fort Saskatchewan for the next couple of nights before they haul is sent north.

“Their food bank is under water – they’ve been through enough,” Elliott said.

With the Canadian Red Cross back in Fort McMurray, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayor Don Scott said he hopes people consider giving them  support.

“They are looking after this region as they did during the wildfire,” Scott said during a Facebook live event Tuesday.

“They will make sure the money is going to those who need it in this region.”

READ MORE: Jason Kenney announces emergency funding for northern Alberta flood evacuees

A spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross said “In-kind donations of food, clothing and other items, while well-intentioned, are not being accepted for this response,” Graeme Burns said Wednesday.

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“The needs of individuals are unique and depend upon their personal situations. Miscellaneous items donated may not be what is required and would incur allocated time and space for storage and processing.”

The Red Cross encourages Canadians who want to donate to make a financial donation to the Canadian Emergencies and COVID-19 Response Fund Appeal.

As for Allwest Furnishings, Shaw said they are coordinating with the food bank in Fort McMurray to see what they need.

The goal is to fill up the truck before it makes the trip north Friday morning.