St. Vincent de Paul Logo

October 31, 2011

SLAVE LAKE – Five months after the spring wildfire that devastated their town, the people of Slave Lake are still trying to get their lives back together.

As winter approaches, the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Edmonton has stepped in to provide badly needed furniture, household items and school supplies.

Bernie McCracken, president of the Edmonton Central Council of St. Vincent de Paul, said the society's members across Edmonton collaborated with generous local businesses to "step up to the plate and help out our neighbours."

Peter Ouellette, who has spearheaded the project, said the donations have been transported by highway van courtesy of Northern Industrial Carriers to the Slave Lake Catholic schoolyard.


The van is being turned into a distribution centre, coordinated by a team from St. Peter's Church in Slave Lake. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is restocking this centre with requested needed items each week.

"The fire in Slave Lake this year has left a lot of families desperate," said Pat Bennetto, western region president of the society. "Flooding this summer has posed additional challenges as the community prepares transitional housing. We hope that Vincentian community effort will assist them as they work to get their lives back to normal."

This project would not have been possible without the help of our community partners: NIC, an Alberta-owned family business which is a full-load trucking company servicing Canada and the USA; and FIND: Furnishing Hope, an Edmonton-area social enterprise that offers quality low-cost used furniture for sale.

The Society of St Vincent de Paul is a worldwide organization operating in 155 countries providing assistance to the poor in the Christian Gospel tradition.

The organization has operated in the Edmonton area since 2000, presently consisting of 18 individual conferences responding to requests for assistance.

For more information on the society or its Slave Lake relief project, contact Bernie Mc Cracken at or 780-221-1555.