Jessica Blackmore, a Shell employee, made many friends in Fort McMurray after living there for nearly three years. Her thoughts were immediately with her friends and their families when she first heard about the evacuations.
“I reached out asking where they were, were they with their families, how were they doing,” she explained. “Some were at site waiting for their families to drive up to Albian village and some were at home with their kids. But thankfully, everyone was safe and accounted for.”
Soon social media was buzzing with moms wanting to help out, knowing that many would need support through the ordeal. “Pretty quickly we collected a truck-full of clothes for families. Everyone I spoke with asked how they could help.”
Jessica was moved by the fact that some of the people helping were the ones who were hit the hardest. “One of my co-workers at Shell was personally impacted by the fire and was actually the first to initiate the effort to collect clothes for families. That's incredible strength - to put aside your own stresses and focus on helping others in need.”
The reality of the tragedy really began hitting home when evacuees began arriving in Fort Saskatchewan and the Sherwood Park community where Jessica now lives.
“On one hand, you see so many people coming in and you wonder how you can help; you feel like you can't do enough,” she said. “On the other hand it's been amazing to see how people have been coming together to support one another.”
In times of crisis, there is no stronger or more needed love than that of a mother. On this day, and every day, we are thankful for moms.