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Saturday, May 21, 2011

To Peggy and People of Spruce Grove

You people are unbelievable!!!! I stopped by on Thursday to meet Peggy and her crew and wow have they done a lot, coordinating, getting volunteers, calling around making sure they could send donations to the right people in the right places, sitting in the sun getting sunburnt, and just to put it in simple terms, being angels. Here is the latest update from her:

There are times in a person’s life when they sometimes see the world visibly changed by others. This past week was one of those times for me. Since Monday, a small (and I mean SMALL) group of volunteers gathered together and coordinated one of the biggest collection drives in Alberta for the residents of Slave Lake in the Walmart parking lot. There were many tears shared with evacuees coming and sharing their stories with us as they took the necessities that they needed, and many hugs and people just stopping by to say thank you.
All in all, we gathers three SEMI trailers FULL of non-food related items, and sent 9 ski-doo trailers of food directly to the evacuees. All coordinated and organized directly with the evacuation center in Westlock. I was honored to witness my seven year old daughter sort goods for 5 hours in a distribution center in Westlock, only to eagerly return the next day to do another day with a smile on her face. I saw people give up 14 hours a day just to serve others that they have never met in the parking lot with us.

We called Westcan/RTL Group of companies, and in under 10 minutes they arranged a semi trailer for us and supplied drivers for 3 straight days. A local skidoo group covered us for any trailers we needed. I shared some needs with Zender Ford and the company stepped up and
covered all of our gas to deliver everything to and from Athabasca (a small fortune with today’s gas prices!). Subway and Pizza 73 sent all of us food everyday, and locals often dropped
by for smiles and with coffee or drinks. There were a few local letdowns, like the three large grocery chains here. Of the three companies that could have made the biggest difference in the
evacuees situation, only one donated anything, and it was a paltry $25 gift certificate. Private citizens donated more than that in a heartbeat when they heard what we were doing.
All in all, I just wanted to say how proud I am to be a citizen of this area. Over this past week, our grassroots effort of just a few good people quite literally changed the world. I am humbled by how much people were willing to give, and honored that I had the opportunity to help coordinate this effort.

stepped up to the plate. They provided us space, allowed us to
distributed "needs" lists at the door, collected money for the Red Cross,
and encouraged their customers in any way possible to help donate non
perishables. THANK YOU WALMART!!!

Thank you Spruce Grove!
Peggy Zallas


  1. I dropped by with our donation and was moved by how much was being given so freely and so quickly. It is nice to see what can come from our little donations.

    I read this and have been thinking of how it really applies in this situation.


    Thank you so much for your time and dedication.

  2. REPOST EVERYWHERE PLEASE: I am going to talk to the coordinator in Westlock on Tuesday. If you are from the Edmonton area and have any truck, or other type of donation that you do not know what to do with, or any question for the center that you need to get through please message or email me (peggy@perfectpairphoto.ca) so that I can bring an organized list to Darrel, rather than him taking 400000 calls. Hopefully this will get us all set up, and avoid so much confusion. Then I will let you know the results Tues night.

  3. Our family was one part of the evacuees that were looking for supplies. We used all of our resources just to drive from Slave Lake... We are fortunate enough to have a camper to live in, and a place to park it - but we had nothing in it yet!!! We evacuated with 8 animals. We were supplied with some dishes, cooking utensils, dog food and cat food! We were looking for some clothes for our son, but the donations were just too many to sort through!! I grew up in Spruce Grove, went to SGCHS, moved to Slave Lake in 1995. Even though Slave Lake has been my home for almost 1/2 my life, most of my memories are from Spruce Grove! I remember walking through the "field" to go to work at McDonald's from the High School!!! Anyway, thanks to all of you for helping us out. It has been more tearful to feel the goodness that is still in our life than it is to know what we have lost. Thank you for giving us hope and the will to move on... :)