Helping Fort McMurray

Helping Fort McMurray

Wow. This has been a tough week for Alberta, hasn’t it? Even those of us not directly affected have been heartbroken watching our neighbours to the north run for their lives and lose so much.

Things got real around here Wednesday when my husband suddenly volunteered to head up there and help out (he works in communications for The City of Calgary). Needless to say, I’ve been following the coverage closely and thinking of little else.

I’ve been brainstorming with other dietitians, trying to figure out what we can do to help. After much discussion, the consensus was that cash donations are the most helpful. We’ve donated as much as our family’s budget will allow, but I figure I can raise a bit more just doing what I do.

So here’s the plan: You bring me in to give a nutrition workshop for your organization, and I’ll donate the fee ($250) to the Red Cross. If you can’t host something like that, please help me spread the word. To keep things simple, the organization can donate directly, send me a copy of the receipt, and I’ll give the talk in return.

My talks and workshops are listed here. I typically speak at employee wellness events, but I’m also happy to do one for a group of friends in a home, as long as you are in my network (friend of a friend, or  something closer than Kevin Bacon at least). You buy the wine, I’ll bring the entertainment. We’ll have some fun talking food for a good cause.

I figure I can manage four of those before I should really get back to working to pay the bills, so that will raise an extra $1000 for the cause. Let’s see if we can find four groups who can donate and get a wellness boost at the same time.

#yychelps #ABstrong

Finally, if any evacuees who’ve made it to Calgary want to talk about how to keep themselves and their families well-nourished while they’re away from home, I’d be happy to meet with them for free, and/or connect them with other resources, depending on their needs. Healthy eating may not be their first priority, but at least it’s one thing they can control, and it can give them the energy they’ll need to get through this. Adrenaline and fast food will only take you so far.

Please share, and let’s do what we can to help!


Update: 2016-05-11 – There’ve been some questions about whether the Red Cross is the best or the only place to donate if you want to help Fort McMurray. If you’d rather donate to a local organization, like the United Way of Fort McMurray, this offer still stands. Looking for other ways to help? Check out this continuously updated Maclean’s article – Want to help Fort McMurray? Here’s how.

There was also a question about whether I’d be willing to do an individual consultation instead of a talk. Absolutely! Any way you choose to do it, if you put forth a $250 donation to support the people of Fort McMurray, I’ll donate my services to you (or your group) in return! Consider it a grown-up lemonade stand.