Surrounded by boxes filled with soap and shampoo, bags of clothes, and a pile of pet food, several people at Regina’s Farmers’ Market asked for donations for the Fort McMurray evacuees on Saturday.
“Eighty-thousand people were evacuated within the span of a few hours and they have nothing, they have the clothes on their back,’ said Hasan Hai, one of the people collecting donations.
They had a table set up at the end of the market, and most passing shoppers reached into their pockets for whatever bills and change they could find. Hai and others at the table thanked each person earnestly, often shaking their hands for the donation.
Hai said people were being very generous.
“Everyone wants to help, and people just look for how do we funnel either our money, our time, or our things to get to the people who need them.”
Hai doesn’t have a personal connection to Fort McMurray or the evacuees – he said he saw a need and wanted to help.
“We’re Canadians, we’re humans, if someone’s suffering, if someone needs help that’s just what we do – we roll up our sleeves and we help people.”
Hai said they’re asking for things like toiletries, linens, and clothing for the evacuees, along with cash. He said they’ll be sending it out to Edmonton early in the week. Anyone who wants to donate can bring things to O’Hanlon’s Irish pub at 1947 Scarth St., the Fat Badger at 1852 Scarth St., or Malty National Brewing Corp. at 1130 15th Ave. before 11 p.m. on Sunday.