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As fires rage in Canada, strangers become heroes become friends

Evacuating their homes, people leave Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, on Tuesday May 3, 2016. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)

As the relentless wildfire in Western Canada takes its toll, and over 88,000 people are forced to evacuate, stories of hope and heroism emerge

All across Canada, emergency services, civilians, and perfect strangers have been going above and beyond to help those in need.

Here’s just a few of the highlights to make the news this week.

1. The large scale donation of food and clothing

As the fires swept through entire neighbourhoods destroying everything their wake, there was no time for people to grab much in the way of belongings. In the aftermath, clean clothes quickly become a luxury.

Alberta residents all mucked in to help neighbors in need, with thousands of items of clothing donated. Food was also donated by the accumulated tonne load.

canada fires

A makeshift evacuation center in Lac La Biche, Alberta. Photo by Cole Burston/AFP/Getty Images.

2. Workers gave up their beds

A touching story of workers from the construction company Ledcor, gave up their beds for those in need. The employees normally live at the camps for long stretches as they work away from home.  During the crisis they moved aside so that the beds were made available to the newly homeless victims of the blaze.

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3. An airline gets in on the action

Canadian airline, WestJet helped out by reserving some of their aircraft to fly in supplies. They also offered to evacuate anyone in need of medical treatment.

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4. The Waterboy

It goes without saying that those in need required water. A man named Les Wiley took to the streets armed with a holdall full of bottles and began handing them out to anyone that had evacuated their home.

Photo by Cole Burston/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Cole Burston/AFP/Getty Images.

5. Refugees from Syria lend a helping hand

Annalise Klingbeil of the Calgary Herald shared a story of one Syrian refugee that had recently settled in Canada. Knowing what it feels like to be displaced, she wanted help in any way she could.

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Want to help those in need?

If you’re in Canada you can help straight away by donating needed supplies to an emergency relief location. Look online to find the nearest one to you, and call up to see if they’re accepting donations. They should give you an idea of the items that are needed and you can take it from there.

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