I had the privilege of being a part of the Calgary Army of Volunteers. I mean Army! I cannot even guess how many people I saw walking the streets in their rubber boots, armed with brooms, shovels, cleaning supplies and of course a heart willing to help. Families with wagons filled with food and water handing them out to volunteers. People driving by asking what was needed and then, bringing it back. Smiles, words of thanks, from the people whose lives have been changed by the raging flood water.
My youngest daughter Avy (a 4th year Nursing Student at U of C) and I joined a team of volunteers organized by the Silverado Community Association. A wonderful group of our neighbours, who we now can call our friends!!
Seeing the pictures and videos on TV did not prepare us for the devastation our fellow Calgarians have experienced. Then we had to remind ourselves this is 7-10 days in for some of these people’s clean up efforts. They must be EXHAUSTED!!! There is still so much more to do. Many of the homes we helped with had already been gutted to the bare wall in the basements. They were now working on the main floors. Crazy!!!! I watched a home owner go through containers of kitchen items covered in “MUD” decide what went in the garbage bin, and what was sent to the volunteers to “WASH”. Buckets of water, that looked like it too came from the river. They changed the water frequently, it just did not seem to last. Sad…… That same women’s face lit up when she saw her items clean, all was not lost?? A small thing, if you looked at the big picture, but something.
I guess that is what this thing is all about! All these small acts of kindness, each individual, adding up to an army of people helping to put the city of Calgary and surrounding areas, back to “Normal.
My favorite quote:
“If you think something small cannot be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito” ~unknown
So continue to do what you can, where you can.
NO effort is too small!
Yours in Nursing,
Heather Dean RN