Joe Melanson has made three 14-hour round trips from Yellowknife to Hay River in as many days, and he’s not stopping yet. Melanson, a board member of the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre, has been donating his time to bring flood relief supplies to those who need it most in his community.
His daily hauls include everything from cleaning supplies to dehumidifiers, and perhaps most importantly, drinking water.
“I just thought I would have to help the community out somehow,” says Melanson. “I have a place in Yellowknife and a place here in Hay River. And I wanted to help the less fortunate, you know? The ones that lost their homes and the financial means to purchase some of these small items that aren’t available all the time in the community unless you order them in through our local businesses, which takes a few days.”
Luckily, he isn’t alone.
Recently, while unloading a delivery, he says a group of young people on bikes rode by and asked if they could pitch in.
Joanna McKay, the Friendship Centre’s executive director, says the organization is just doing whatever it can to help the community.
“There’s not one person in our community who isn’t exhausted, whether they’re at home working, or they’re pitching in at the town, or pitching in with other organizations, or cleaning out their own personal businesses or homes,” she said. “Everybody’s tired and just doing what they can.”