Portable toilets are taken into the community of Sunnyside

After the flood, Calgary’s spirit shines: Lucy’s blog

Portable toilets are taken into the community of Sunnyside

My heart goes out to Calgarians coping with the devastation of the flood. For those whose homes have been damaged, the road ahead is a challenging one.

At the same time, we are witnessing an incredible consolation. Calgarians have responded to this disaster with an overwhelming generosity. Our strong civic spirit is shining brightly. We are a community that cares. We understand that for a city to be truly great, it needs to be great for everyone—and we know that we all share responsibility for this.

And so when disaster strikes, as it did last week, we don’t just make a donation to the Canadian Red Cross. We make a donation—and then we pull on rubber boots and work gloves and get down in the muck, eager to do what we can to assist family, friends and even complete strangers.

To outsiders this approach may seem surprising, but for those of us who live here, it’s not surprising at all.

It’s normal. As Mayor Nenshi tweeted yesterday after thousands of volunteers descended on McMahon Stadium (photo below): This is Calgary! It’s who we are.

As Calgarians, we need to keep supporting each other in the days ahead, and I know we will. If you need help and support, please reach out. Call 211 to get connected with the services and assistance you need. Alternatively, if you want information on where to volunteer or donate and help others, call 211 to be pointed in the right direction.

Together, we’ll make it through this—and we’ll emerge stronger than ever.

—Lucy Miller is President and CEO of United Way of Calgary and Area 

Top photo by Ricky Leong, from Flickr.