Lisa Taggart was one of the lucky ones in High River. Though her home wasn’t damaged, her life certainly changed.
“Living in High River, everyone is impacted,” Taggart says. “But the businesses are starting to open up. The temporary schools are finally ready. Things are finally starting to come together.”
High River residents have been through a lot in the past six months. With the worst floods in Alberta’s history and the aftermath, Shell Canada saw an opportunity to give back in a unique way.
“We wanted to hold an event that focused on giving back to the community,” says Garrett Mazurenko, 2013 Shell Calgary and Area United Way campaign chair. “With United Way, we landed on the fact that in High River, one of the things that was lacking was a distraction, something to bring families together and something different.”
From this idea was born the High River Family Fun Day, a day of carnival-style activities, a magician and a movie. For many, it was a perfect fit for the community.
“It’s exactly what we needed,” says Aline Chichery, a High River resident who brought her family to the event. “We love High River; we have faith in the community and we know it’s coming together. It takes time, but it’s a great community.”
Over 700 High River residents attended, with over 80 Shell staff and their families joining as volunteers. Volunteers ended the day by distributing over 1,200 hope and warmth bundles to residents. The bundles included a blanket, ornament, cookies and a card from a Shell staff member. Bundles distributed to all adults also included a $20 Shell gift card.
“Today, we’ve had phenomenal feedback from staff that were here,” Mazurenko says. “We had retirees come out and some family members. They’re all very happy to be involved. They’re proud of not only Shell but being able to help the community.”
How do you choose to give back to your community?