Giving back to Fort Mac
MRU using it’s resources to help those displaced by northern Alberta wildfires
By Bigoa Machar
The town of Fort McMurray has been a large part of Alberta’s economics for a very long time. While the northern Alberta town is largely known for it’s large oil sand deposits and refineries, there’s something about it that’s larger than all of this: a community. After the families of Fort McMurray were subject to some of the largest wildfires this province has ever seen, it’s only right for the rest of Alberta to use the resources we have to help the town that’s helped us so much. Mount Royal University recently stepped up their aid efforts for families currently displaced in Calgary.
“We are working with the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) to support those displaced from their homes,” says David Docherty, president of Mount Royal University. “We are continually preparing more beds in our residence buildings in anticipation of evacuees arriving in Calgary.”
With most of the school’s students done school for the summer, MRU’s dorms have been vacated by those studying and put to use for these families.
“Mount Royal is working closely with CEMA to do our part for those affected,” says Docherty. “We have at least 50 residence beds ready for displaced families, and we are working on preparing more. We are on standby should families come our way and our doors are open. We have been working with local media and we are part of the social media conversation, to get the word out.”
With many of our friends and colleagues calling Fort McMurray home, Docherty’s sentiments are shared with all of us.
“I think I speak for the entire Mount Royal University community when I say our hearts are with those impacted by the blaze,” says Docherty. “We are on standby to accept those we can, with CEMA helping us by setting up a reception centre on site. Our Emergency Operations Centre has been activated and is monitoring the situation closely. Many people on campus are working hard to prepare for evacuees, and I thank you sincerely for your efforts.”
With many families still displaced after the fires, there is a large need for helping hands on campus. In addition, the school is offering support to students seeking help during this time, whether it’s registration advice or counselling through the school’s wellness centre. Contact the school for further questions.