Darrell Glover and his friends are proving that in times of trouble generosity sometimes knows no bounds.
An Olds-area resident and member of the Help Alberta Wildies organization, Glover is on his way to California with a $3,600 load of 300 sacks of 7/8-inch hay cubes for horses left in desperate straits by the deadly wildfires around Paradise.
The relief effort was kicked off on Nov. 18 when Glover saw a social media post, he explained.
“I got a post that was circulating about the miserable conditions and terrible tragedy down there in Paradise that related to the horses,” said Glover.
“So many people in that area are horse people. With the instant evacuation that was required, people had no time to deal with the horses so they basically opened the gates and let them go to fend for themselves.
“Hundreds of horses were running in the foothills and down the highways and are scared to death. A lot of them were burnt and injured.”
A group of volunteers has been rounding up the horses and many of the animals have been taken to the Camelot Equestrian Park at Chico, he explained.
“They have now opened up their facility and taken in more than 200 horses already,” he said. “So when I heard they were taking in horses, and being a horse person myself, I knew there was going to be tremendous logistics involved, including sheltering and feeding them.”
Taking things in hand, he put out the call to horse lovers everywhere to donated cash so the hay cubes could be purchased and taken south. The reaction was immediate from people in the district and from far beyond.
“The response has been remarkable,” he said. “We’ve had donations sent from as far away as Germany. There are donations coming in from everywhere, locally, from Ontario, from the U.S., from everywhere. It got a lot of interest very fast.”
As of Friday, more than $7,000 had been donated, he said.
As well, people have also given saddles, blankets, ropes, and first aid kits and other supplies.
Once he gets to California and the feed and supplies are unloaded, Glover plans to purchase more feed locally.
“I’m going to stick around for a few days and help any way I can,” he said. “I think we’ve got enough donation money to actually fill the trailer again down there.”
Donations will be accepted into the future to continue the relief effort, he said.
“This is not a short-term situation; this is not going to go away in a couple weeks,” he said. “These people not only lost they homes, but they lost their barns. We are looking at a long-term recovery for these people and their horses.
“They might own a horse that is being cared for right now, but they don’t even own a halter because it all burned up in the barns. And all the grass has been burnt.”
Glover hopes to be in California by mid-afternoon on Wednesday.
The positive response to the relief effort has been very heartening, he said.
“A horse lover is a horse lover and it doesn’t matter what nationality you are,” he said.