Sundays 8pm to 11pm on Radio 2

New Episodes at CBC Music

New Episodes at CBC Music

Need more Strombo Show? Head over to our page on CBC Music for new episodes, playlists and video extras.

CBC Music Past Shows



Helping After Disaster: Meet The Calgary Laundry Fairy
July 10, 2013
submit to reddit


Many neighbourhoods in Calgary were hit hard by the recent flooding in Alberta, including the community of Bowness.

Nadine, a Bowness resident, wanted to help out her neighbours post-flood, but with two kids at home, she couldn't really offer physical labour.

She came up with a better idea: becoming a "Laundry Fairy."

After seeing several people's appliances on their front lawns, she grabbed three laundry baskets and wrote this note inside with a marker:

"This might be the strangest thing you've ever seen written on the bottom of a laundry basket - assuming you've ever seen something written on a laundry basket. I've noticed your washer and dryer are not functional, so I'll do your laundry. Fill this basket and call me. I'll return it cleaned the next day. If you have the resources to wash your clothes, please pass this on to someone who doesn't. Maybe someone with a baby or kids - they make lots of laundry. Who couldn't use a laundry fairy for a bit?!"

One person took her up on the offer, and Nadine scrubbed the sewage, silt and dirt off a neighbour's clothes by hand in a basin in her yard and gave them back clean.

After that, though, no one accepted her help. She thinks it's because of our national character:

"People were too proud and too Canadian to take advantage," she told the Calgary United Way.

But she didn't let that stop her. Nadine is no longer the Laundry Fairy: now she delivers hot, wet face cloths to the volunteers and labourers working in Bowness.

A friend of hers is also borrowing some of Nadine's clothes and handing them out to volunteers in High River.

Her experience since the floods hit has shown her how strong her community really is.

"I'm proud to be a Calgarian. People rallied together with a lot of kindness - which the world could use a lot more of," she said. "We lost a bit of stuff and found a community... It was amazing and unbelievable to watch."

If you want to support the clean-up and recovery efforts in Alberta, you can donate to the United Way Emergency Community Support Fund, the Canadian Red Cross Alberta Flood Response, or the Salvation Army Alberta Flood Relief.

Many thanks to Jodi Egan (@EganWrites) for sending this story our way on Twitter.


Scenes From Alberta: "Couches Going By," A Rescued Baby Deer, And High Flood Waters

Flood Update: Calgary Could Face Months Of Power Outages, Siksika First Nation Devastated, And Medicine Hat Braces For Floods

New Technology To Predict Floods


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.