The worst sometimes emerges the best. Even though some of the injuries are still vivid, the heart-felt balm received by the citizens of Lac-Mégantic has undoubtedly enabled our community to recover more quickly, following the railway tragedy of July 6, 2013.
From the very beginning of the tragedy, our city received considerable help in the form of encouragement, support and solidarity. Initially, this assistance was manifested more by human support, support to the municipality and the citizens, and then we had a great deal of solidarity through donations from the entire population. A campaign was set up by the Red Cross and this financial aid enabled us to help our citizens to relocate, to relocate, to live during the first weeks and to meet their urgent needs, the first needs.
We were touched and even surprised by this wave of solidarity from all over Quebec, but also from many places around the world.
Solidarity then turned into healing. The citizens of Lac-Mégantic, beneficiaries of all the help provided, have turned into donors of time to help their city to rise with the idea of improving the quality of life of the citizens. Residents of Lac-Mégantic were already woven tight, but the advent of this disaster amplified the will to serve citizens. We experienced it for example with the relocation of the library that had been razed by the flames.
There is no doubt that the commitment of citizens to participate in the life of the municipality is fundamental to fuel the vitality of their environment.
I discovered that philanthropy is not about giving money, it is about giving of one’s time, it is about getting involved. Four years later, to see citizens with many young people getting involved and wanting to make their living environment a more lively and welcoming space, we have confidence in the future.
Colette Roy Laroche,