In April 2020, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) experienced its worst flooding in decades. Around 13,000 people were evacuated, and more than 1,200 structures damaged after ice jams formed on the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers. Suncor and its employees were quick to help.
Many residents, business owners and social profit agencies are still dealing with the aftermath of the flood, made worse by the devastating effects of COVID-19. In support of ongoing recovery efforts, Suncor and the Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF) recently donated an additional $250,000 to some of the hardest-hit organizations.
We redirected funds and asked regional employees to vote for where they’d like to see us direct a $100,000 donation, with each agency receiving a share based on voting percentage. Here’s the results:
- $52,000 to the Centre of Hope for repairs and renovations to their daytime homeless shelter.
- $25,000 to Norfort Gymnastics Association to help rebuild the facility and replace equipment.
- $23,000 to the Fort McMurray Heritage Society for repairs and cleanup at the Heritage Village and Shipyard.
“This has been an incredibly difficult year for many of the organizations that support Fort McMurray and the region. Suncor is proud to continue to help them recover from the flood and maintain critical community services,” says Shelley Powell, senior vice president, Suncor Base Plant.
In addition to maintaining its annual contributions to the region, SEF recently donated $150,000 to four organizations based on input from the community and Suncor employees living in Fort McMurray.
- $40,000 to the Canadian Mental Health Association (Wood Buffalo) to help the Recovery and Welcome Centre facility get back to full operations.
- $40,000 to the Salvation Army of Fort McMurray to fund a temporary donation drop-off facility and COVID-19 safe Thrift Store location.
- $40,000 to FuseSocial to sustain operations including vital volunteer coordination services.
- $30,000 to the NorthLife Fellowship Baptist Church Soup Kitchen to support a rental space and operations while their building is repaired.
Some of the organizations who received funding shared how they were using the funds:
Suncor’s initial response to the flood included supplying emergency services personnel and equipment, offering an employee to help build a berm to protect Heritage Village, and opening workcamps to house hundreds of evacuees. This includes a donation made by SEF of $50,000 and Petro-Canada’s $10,000 donation to the Canadian Red Cross in support of the Fort McMurray and Area Flood Fund. Suncor employees also chipped in to help with cleanup, as well as through donations, which were matched by Suncor and/or SEF.
Suncor and SEF are honoured to be connected to organizations and people like those listed above. Beyond support for flood recovery, the company and Foundation are proud to maintain ongoing relationships with many organizations in the region. While statistics are not yet available for 2020, the foundation has contributed more than $5.6 million in community donations and sponsorships in 2019.