A deafening response to a quiet crisis

Alberta was recently hit with the worst flooding in anyone’s memory. Much has been written (and much will be written) about the obvious things, the bridges that were washed out, the hippo’s at the zoo, the firefighter with the big smile and the “keep calm and Nenshi on” T-shirts (one of which I need to acquire).

Benchlands home destroyed in flood

What I thought would slip through the gaps are the quiet crises. The people living in lower Benchlands on Hwy. 40 that experienced utter destruction. The people on the Stoney Nakoda reserve that, although didn’t have the spectacular flooding, were cut off from their community when roads washed away, as the sewers backed up. Thankfully I was wrong.

Although it took a couple of days, Saturday night a tweet came out from Morley that caught the attention of a local CBC reporter. She tweeted it out and we started talking about organizing supplies coming out of Cochrane, at 10PM in the evening.

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 9.17.08 PMScreen Shot 2013-06-25 at 9.17.19 PMScreen Shot 2013-06-25 at 9.18.06 PMSo by 11PM on Saturday night, we had at least my truck and Base Camp’s trailer lined up to take supplies to Morley the next morning…assuming that we could fill it. The word went out via Facebook and Twitter, and Carla lined up her Dad and horse trailer to help. I woke up to a tweet from my favorite local coffee shop, offering up the first donation!Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 9.46.42 PM

The incredible outpouring of support from the Cochrane & Calgary community the next day was inspiring. So too was the level of interconnectedness (and the awesomeness of twitter!). Miss Night is actually renting our condo in Calgary, and Buzz Bishop’s son is in her kindergarten class. Absolutely wild that these connections turned into actual donations on the ground, overnight.

Screen Shot 2013-06-25 at 9.26.26 PM

I returned to Morley today with staff and clients from Base Camp. We shuttled a couple of loads from Cochrane, and then spent the day helping to sort through the massive piles of donations, build hampers, hand out dog food, run lunches to the elder’s lodge…generally being as useful as possible. The level of support that I witnessed, and the amount of donations that had arrived between leaving Sunday afternoon and arriving Tuesday morning was jaw-dropping.

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 9.21.10 AM

A few short months ago I wrote a post about the Newtown shootings, and how what’s wrong with the world is what’s wrong with us. That day my son was tucked into his bed sleeping soundly while I wrote of an unthinkable tragedy. Today, he’s also tucked into his bed…but I’m glad to be writing about the opposite. I’m glad to be writing about our blessings and our support for our neighbors; family, friends and strangers.

Today, what’s right with the world is all of you, and your deafening response to these quiet crises.

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