The official call for volunteers to help with the flood recovery efforts went out to citizens of Calgary early on the morning of June 24th. By 9:30 a.m. the parking lot at McMahon Stadium was full of people wanting to lend a hand and as one volunteer said “when Calgary asks for 1,000 people, they’ll get 5,000.” In fact, over 600 people ventured out on Calgary Transit buses in the morning to help welcome people back into their communities. Hundreds of others were given the option to self-drive to muster sites to ask how they could assist in clean up when the buses were full.
Sven Hansen, who now lives in Edgemont, has been through this before, “in Pincher Creek, I saw what a flood can do and it’s a very traumatic time so I’d like to try and help out if I can.” Wearing his rubber boots and fueling up on a burger from one of the food trucks that showed up to provide free meals to volunteers, Sven is ready to help wherever the bus takes him.
Because of the overwhelming response to The City’s call for volunteers, many people were not able to be deployed. Mayor Nenshi spoke to the cheering crowd and thanked them. “If you have friends or family who need help cleaning out their basement, if you know strangers who need help in their yards, just get out there and help, don’t wait to be asked,” said the Mayor.
A group of four women whose homes were fortunately unaffected by the floods, were waiting in line to see if they could sign up to help. Erin Callow, who works on the Calgary Stampede grounds, says “I’m anxiously waiting for an opportunity to help. I can’t get down to the grounds yet but I need to do something.” Her friends agree stating they helpless right now, and they want to do anything to help.”
Calgarians looking for further volunteer opportunities should stay tuned to local media or visit Calgary.ca for updates.