New Brunswick Red Cross raising money for Fort McMurray relief

While fire continues to rage in Alberta, people in New Brunswick are looking to help out. NB Liquor is launching a prompt-at-cash campaign in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross to help with relief efforts in Fort McMurray.

Taking online, phone donations, plus partnership with NB Liquor

Fort McMurray is under a mandatory evacuation order. (CBC)

While fire continues to rage in Alberta, people in New Brunswick are looking to help out.

NB Liquor is launching a prompt-at-cash campaign in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross to help with relief efforts in Fort McMurray. They are running this campaign at all 44 corporate stores.

"Many New Brunswickers have friends and family that live in Fort McMurray," said president and CEO of NB Liquor, Brian Harriman in a press release.

"I have no doubt that many people want to help and show their generosity with a financial contribution in support of the Alberta fire emergency appeal."

They'll be running this campaign until May 7 at 9 p.m.

Bill Lawlor is the New Brunswick director of the Red Cross. He says that in his 18 years with the organization, he has never seen a response like this.
Bill Lawlor says he has never seen more donations than this during his 18 years working with the Red Cross. (CBC News)

"It's remarkable that as of noon today (Thursday) $11.5 million has been raised by Canadians coast to coast to coast. That's incredible in such a short amount of time," said Lawlor.

Lawlor says the best way to help people in Fort McMurray is by donating to the Red Cross. That can be done by text or a phone call. People can also donate by visiting their offices, or donating money online on the Red Cross website.

Lawlor recommends against people filling up their own truck with items and taking it to people in Alberta. He understands why people might want to do it, but he says the most efficient way is by donating money.

"Most often it is not helpful. In fact it is quite the opposite  it can be cumbersome or burdensome to the local operation," said Lawlor.

Besides accepting donations, the Red Cross in New Brunswick is helping by having volunteers on call if needed, and helping run a call centre for people who are trying to get in touch with loved ones displaced by the fire.