Edmonton volunteers raise over $25K for Fort McMurray

Members of the Church of God hand deliver gift bags to residents

By Dawn Booth, Connect Weekly

Volunteers from The World Mission Society Church of God were busy washing vehicles downtown in Fort McMurray on June 12. The group said they were happy to help any way they could. Supplied photos

Volunteers from The World Mission Society Church of God were busy washing vehicles downtown in Fort McMurray on June 12. The group said they were happy to help any way they could. Supplied photos

Over 80 volunteers from The World Mission Society Church of God travelled to Fort McMurray on June 12 to hand deliver gift bags and help provided services to residents.

Charles O’Hara, a volunteer of the church, described his experience as “soaking wet, but happy.” The volunteers left Edmonton to Fort McMurray on two school buses in the early morning last Sunday.

“On arrival, a little after noon, we encountered light rain, which turned heavy around two. Our members were soaked, but spirits were high,” he said. “We have so much love to share and give, which always keep our members smiling! We were really so happy we could provide any sort of help to the residents of Fort McMurray. It was also resonated to the surrounding security and workers near our members.”

Volunteers hand gifts to residents leaving Beacon Hill on June 12.

Volunteers hand gifts to residents leaving Beacon Hill on June 12.

Volunteers at Jasper Avenue in Edmonton during a fundraising event for Fort McMurray in May. Over $25,000 was raised in their efforts.

Volunteers at Jasper Avenue in Edmonton during a fundraising event for Fort McMurray in May. Over $25,000 was raised in their efforts.

Members spent the past month hosting fundraisers around Edmonton and St. Albert to raise $25,000 for the community. The volunteers were staged at the entrance of Beacon Hill to greet residents, as well as various other locations around Fort McMurray.

“We saw a lot of despair on their faces as they returned from seeing their devastated homes, but when we delivered love with our gifts and words of encouragement, they left with a smile and some hope,” said Aimee Forestier, a volunteer representative of The World Mission Society Church of God.

Forestier further shared the church was “eager to help in any way” they could.

“It was definitely a lot of work doing all this, but all brothers and sisters of our church worked as one with amazing unity and we all enjoyed the late night prep and early morning starts,” she said. “It was nice to work with the community too and see us all working together to support Fort McMurray.

-Connect Weekly-