APPLE SEEDS:  Is the fire still burning?

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APPLE SEEDS:  Is the fire still burning?



Is the fire still burning?

That is a question I try and regularly ask myself.   Every time I do, it means something different.

Sometimes, I need to remind myself to stay true to my passion and beliefs.  Have I become complacent in how I spend my day, my “free” time?

But the question this week is not metaphorical.  It is real fire – flames, heat and destruction.  

Is the fire still burning in Fort Mac?  Do you know?

 I “googled” that question this morning and the answer is yes… the fire is still burning - out of control in fact.

But, other than a report from an Edmonton paper, the other posts were from “1 day ago”.   Has the tragedy that befell our fellow Canadians, family members and friends become yesterday’s news before the fire is out.

The Wildfire Update site, managed by the Alberta government was sixth on the list.  Reported facts from the current situation (at 2 p.m. on May 20) include…

Fire conditions remain extreme in northeastern Alberta.
The Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control. It is estimated to cover 505,645 hectares.
There were three new fire starts over the past 24 hours. A total of 16 wildfires are burning, with two out of control.
There are 2,423 firefighters, 189 helicopters, 439 pieces of heavy equipment and 29 air tankers currently battling the fires.

Yep… You can say that the Quinte region is doing its part. 

For a $30 ticket, which translates into a $60 donation to Fort Mac, I was fortunate enough to be part of a SOLD OUT crowd at the Rock 4 Relief, held at the Empire Theatre in Belleville. 

The night was unforgettable.  More than $40,000 was raised, thanks to the government’s promise to match all Red Cross donations, and that is an impressive number.  

And all I had to do, was sit there, enjoy myself, pay $30 for a show that was worth much more than that, pat myself on the back and say YES.. I have donated to Fort Mac. And then, life gets back to normal. 

Except it doesn’t.

I met a young couple here in Belleville, who told me a story that sounded like a movie script.   They left their home, he – a native of Fort Mac, born and bred, she -- 6 months pregnant and like many, roots in Ontario. 

As they drove, with fire raging around them, their only thought was safety.  Can you imagine driving past a blazing gas station, terrified something will explode just as you pass?  Hoping that if they can just get past the next ridge they will beat the flames, only to find another wall of fire. 

They don’t know if their home survived. They don’t know if and when they will take their new baby home. 

That’s one story. There are so many more. 

A local trucking company is trying to fill a transport with much-needed supplies.  We need that trailer FULL -- items you probably have in your cupboards and closets.  

Take the time, read the list – DELIVER the donated items to the depots.  Don’t be that person who “meant” to, but got busy doing other things. 

Add some of these items to your shopping list this weekend. Do some spring cleaning and look through your stock-piled pantry. 

Make the effort to make a difference.

The list of items:

nonperishable food items
hygiene products (toothpaste, toothbrushes, feminine hygiene products, face wash, shampoo, conditioner, etc.)
juice
batteries
toys , colouring books , puzzles , games
New pillows
New blankets
New sheet sets
New pillow cases
New bath towels
New face cloths
Advil
Tylenol
Laundry soap
Liquid hand soap
New Clothes & Shoes (preferably with tags still on)
Pet items food, Litter, crates
Grain (for horses)
Halters and lead ropes for horses
Fresh food coolers

Donations can be dropped off at Electrolab Building at 355 University Avenue in Belleville, weekdays from noon until 6 p.m. until the end of the month or when the trailer is full.

Read More: Opinion, Apple Seeds

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