Recognizing the difficulty of evacuees finding their way to the thrift stores in Saskatoon, the Salvation Army decided to come to them.
“We were giving out vouchers to the Salvation Army Thrift Stores but that presented some problems for people as they needed to get there and it was a bit of a time-consuming process and people needed (supplies) right away as some of them have been here for up to six days,” said the Salvation Army’s Mike Heoft.
On Wednesday, the Salvation Army set up a large tent in the north parking lot of the Henk Ruys Soccer Centre in Saskatoon, where 919 evacuees have been staying for nearly a week.
Florence Roberts arrived in Saskatoon on Sunday from Montreal Lake. She said it’s been a hectic few days because she’s taking care of four young children, but she appreciates everyone’s help taking her family in.
“It’s been good everyone’s helping out … the Red Cross is amazing,” she said.
Rummaging through the donation tent on Thursday, Roberts said when she was notified to evacuate her home she panicked and only grabbed a couple of sets of clothes.
“It was very scary … I was pretty much running around my place with my head chopped off – I was very scared,” Roberts said adding she’s looking for summer clothes for her three-year-old daughter.
Around the shelter, Roberts said evacuees from Montreal Lake may head back this weekend, but that depends on how quickly the province can get the wildfire situation under control.
Heoft, who is leading the donation tent, said they’ve received a lot of baby clothes, but they’re running into a shortage of summer clothes, especially for adults.
Major Mike Heoft leads the effort at the donation tent in Saskatoon. Francois Biber/CKOM
“We don’t have a lot of adult summer clothes, so shorts and T-shirts and things like that, so people can wear when it’s warm out. Flip-flops, swimsuits, because they go the pool on occasion and on a hot day.
The tent at the soccer centre, as well as a drop-off location at 410 – 42nd Street East are open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
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