The Stettler & District Crisis Aid Program is there when local families or individual find themselves in very serious and unexpected financial situations.
The program was first launched back in 2013, said Andrea Lee, co-ordinator of Crisis Aid.
“It is completely run by volunteers and there are no paid positions,” she added. “We run solely on fundraising and donations from the community.
“All of the clients that we help – one of the criteria is that they have to be from Stettler or the County of Stettler, so the money stays within the community,” she said, adding that there is a broad variety of situations in which an individual or family cannot meet a basic necessity, cannot maintain a reserved living condition or meet an essential medical need.
“Sometimes people just get stuck with nowhere to turn, and it can happen to anyone,” she said, adding that Crisis Aid provides one-time funding for everything from temporary accommodations, medical trips and prescriptions to utility arrears and employment-related expenses.
“We are a last resort financial assistance program.”
Lee said clients are never given cash – only gift cards or direct bill payments at the local bank.
She also pointed out that the average rural family is only three paychecks or less from a financial crisis.
In the meantime, being involved with Crisis Aid also holds a special meaning for Lee as well.
“I was born and raised in this community, and my roots are strong here,” he said. “I also was (also) once in need of a program such as Crisis Aid. I was given a hand up and I was able to get back on my feet and start a new life. I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be able to give back to the community and help others that are struggling.
“I know firsthand how an act of kindness helped me to change my life.”
Lee also noted how much of a difference the organization has made locally so far this year.
A total of 43 families have been assisted with a total cost of $20,927.91.
This number includes $7,600 on rent and damage deposits, $9,010.75 on utilities, $1,311.95 for groceries and $1,008.50 on temporary accommodations.
“In order for our program to be effective and to assist our community, we rely completely on community support,” she said. “It is the heart and compassion of this community that makes it such an amazing place to live.”
For more information about the Stettler & District Crisis Aid Program, call 403-741-9077, 403-742-2337 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It’s a great program, because it helps people who didn’t expect to need to ask for help.”