NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C., May 12, 2016 — A massive wildfire in Alberta, Canada has threatened a dozen communities since it started spreading on May 1. A mandatory evacuation has forced all 70,000 Fort McMurray residents to leave their homes in search of safety – the largest fire-related evacuation in the province’s history. Gary Gardner, an American Red Cross volunteer from the Lowcountry, is traveling to Canada to assist with the disaster relief operation.
When people were evacuated, they left not knowing if they would have a home to go back to. Gardner will be part of a team providing shelter, food, water and basic supplies to the residents affected by the wildfires. Gardner has deployed more than a dozen times to assist with disaster relief operations, including floods, fires, and tornadoes, all across the country. Closer to home, Gardner is the Mass Care Lead for the Red Cross of Lowcountry SC.
“I volunteer with the Red Cross because I want to help people and believe in giving back,” explained Gardner. “I hope to be able to bring comfort to these families and ensure that they have a safe place to stay until they are able to return to their homes.”
VOLUNTEERING By volunteering with the American Red Cross, you can truly make a difference. Those interested in volunteering should visit www.redcross.org/sc to start their volunteer application or call 843-764-2323 to learn more. Without volunteers the Red Cross would not be able to respond locally, across the country, and around the world when it is needed most. Volunteers with the Red Cross can set flexible schedules in volunteer positions that appeal to their specific skills or interests.
For more information about the wildfires and how the Canadian Red Cross is assisting evacuees, visit redcross.ca.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/sc or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossSC