Stepping Stones to use donation to help youth adjust following Fort McMurray wildfire

Aug 23, 2016

Stepping Stones Youth Services says it will use a $10,000 donation from Syncrude to help Fort McMurray youth adjust following the wildfire.

Community members decided where Syncrude would donate the funds during the Fort McMurray Tourism Spring Show and Market held April 29 to May 1. Stepping Stones Youth Shelter came out on top thanks to votes cast by residents. According to the non-profit, the support couldn't have come at a better time.

“This donation comes at a time when our services are more in-demand Stepping Stones Youth Services says it will use a $10,000 donation from Syncrude to help Fort McMurray youth adjust following the wildfire.

We’re so pleased to have been selected by the community,” says Lynn Rhoddy, Program Supervisor. “The funds will help us to support youth and their families with the transition of coming home after the evacuation, and those who have lost their homes.”

Stepping Stones provides homeless and at-risk youth in our region with temporary emergency shelter and outreach programming. In addition to offering youth a safe place to stay with their emergency shelter, Stepping Stones provides a broad range of resources and partnerships that aim to assist youth at risk. The organization is operated by Wood’s Homes in Calgary, and is one of many multi-service programs available in the Wood Buffalo region. Working together with agencies such as Alberta Health Services, our region’s school boards, educators and other local non-profits allows the group to connect youth with important programs in Fort McMurray.

“We want to make sure the youth in our region have access to mental health and wellness programs, youth employment opportunities, and have the tools to build healthy relationships,” adds Lynn. “Stepping Stones wants to help youth rebuild any connections that may have been lost due to the fire, and help the community rebuild. Children and youth in our region are our greatest assets and we want to help.”

Stepping Stones Youth Shelter is a member of the United Way of Fort McMurray and receives funding from the annual campaign. They aim to reopen their agency by the fall of 2016, after work is completed to fix property damages associated with the wildfire.

Syncrude’s donation was made thanks to the Community Investment Program, which distributes about $6 million annually to local programs and initiatives. As part of that investment, Syncrude supports employees and retirees who volunteer with non-profit organizations that make our community a better place with grants from its Good Neighbours Program.