Alberta Teachers’ Association president Mark Ramsankar is urging members and ATA locals from across the province to dig deep and give to the Canadian Red Cross, which has established an emergency fund to support displaced Fort McMurray families.
Ramsankar says the Association will match dollar for dollar each donation made by an ATA local to the Red Cross. With similar pledges to match from the provincial and federal governments, a $1 donation from an ATA local would grow to $6 — meaning the provincial ATA’s pledge of up to $100,000 could have a value to the Red Cross of up to $600,000.
Individual members are also encouraged to donate at www.redcross.ca.
Ramsankar also praised Fort McMurray teachers for their actions during the sudden evacuation that was forced by a wildfire on May 3.
“I want to thank the teachers in Fort McMurray who responded to the call of duty to keep students calm and safe as their families prepared for evacuation,” Ramsankar said. “I am in awe of how teachers handled the evacuation of schools with compassion and professionalism. In some cases teachers gave up their own opportunity to get home and retrieve belongings.”
Ramsankar said he’s received many messages of support from teachers across the country.
Nancy Ball, president of ATA Fort McMurray Local No. 48, also acknowledged the overwhelming support that displaced residents have received.
“The support of our colleagues and all Albertans at this difficult time is invaluable for those of us who have had to pick up and leave behind our beloved home,” she said. ❚