RE/MAX affiliates like Melanie Galea go Beyond the Balloon to help their communities.
In May 2016, the Fort McMurray wildfire tore across the Alberta landscape. Eighty-thousand people were forced to evacuate; more than 2,000 buildings were destroyed.
At the height of the disaster, Melanie Galea—an Alberta RE/MAX sales associate—and her family were evacuated north of Fort McMurray.
“I hope nobody has to go through that in their entire life,” says Melanie.
They camped until it was safe to go back to their homes.
Even though her circumstances were dire, Melanie decided to help wherever she could by starting a Facebook group, which quickly grew to 1,000 people.
“It seemed like the only thing I could do; it was about providing information and helping people.”
She also started a phone app called Discover Fort McMurray, to help encourage people to rebuild local businesses.
“It was a visceral response for me. I was going home, and I was going home to help.”