25 Days of Happiness, Day 12: The Fort McMurray Miracles

Back in the spring, the people of Fort McMurray, Alberta, had their lives yanked out from beneath them when a horrific wildfire devastated the area. The entire city was ordered to evacuate. With fires raging within sight, people had to flee this isolated community with little notice. Many folks lost everything. Those houses that didn’t burn were still damaged. When I was at RWA National in San Diego this past summer, I talked with a fellow Harlequin author who lives in Fort McMurray. Her stories of fleeing the fire with tires melting in the heat, of siding on houses that melted, of the charred shells left behind, are ones that will linger in my memory.

But there were miracles.

The first was that the city was evacuated successfully. The sole, heartbreaking casualties was from an accident when two teens collided with a logging truck as they drove out of town.

The second miracle is due to WestJet.

For the past few years, the folks at Calgary-based WestJet have carried out a Christmas miracle. Once they interviewed folks getting on a Calgary-bound flight, asking them what they wanted for Christmas: when the people landed three hours later, those gifts were waiting for them. Once they went to a town in the Caribbean and granted wishes (and a new playground!) for the residents.

This year, they went to Fort MacMurray. The provided a day of delight and wonder and joy for the weary folks, giving them a respite in the midst of rebuilding. And they also gave each person …

Well. Watch the video and see. But be warned: you’ll want to have some tissues handy.


Miracles of caring: Happiness Day 12.