CNRL Day of Caring at Pastew Place


Pastew Place Detox Centre is now revitalized thanks to CNRL, who donated both manpower and the necessary supplies to make a Day of Caring® possible. On Tuesday morning, July 26th, volunteers from CNRL showed up eager to get to work on revamping the exterior of the building, decks and barbecue of Pastew Place.

The day began with coffee and doughnuts for all the volunteers and a tour of Pastew Place courtesy of the Executive Director, Amber Fort. Pastew Place is so critical to Fort McMurray because it is the only detox facility in the city. Operations had restarted only one day prior to the CNRL Day of Caring® and Ms. Fort expressed her gratitude to the volunteers.

“Because you guys came to help out, I got to open yesterday,” said Fort. “I’m just grateful you guys are here.”


With all the positive energy flowing, combined with a caffeine kick, the volunteers got right to work. What started with a power washing of the decks graduated to a power washing of the whole facility’s exterior and finally a cleaning of the barbecue and a replacement of its burners.


After five hours of cleaning in the hot sunshine, the volunteers had Pastew Place sparkling. Everyone who came out to help was so kind-hearted and some even made arrangements to return to paint and stain the decks, a job that was unable to be completed by the end of the Day of Caring®.

The thing that stuck out most about Pastew Place, besides its now refurbished exterior, was how it managed to remain unharmed by the fire. Flames had completely surrounded the facility, burning all the forested areas as well as the property’s fence yet leaving the building untouched.

“Obviously something bigger than us thought we weren’t done with what we do in Fort Mac,” said Amber Fort.

Kendall Virus, one of CNRL’s volunteers reiterated Ms. Fort’s thoughts saying, “There was something looking after [Pastew Place]; I truly believe that.”


The day ended with smiling faces and a group picture to commemorate the moment. The Day of Caring® was a complete success and was made possible by CNRL for donating their time and tools to restore a part of our community.

About Pastew Place

Pastew Place is the only detox center in Fort McMurray. It is a 24/7 service that helps people detoxifying from alcohol and other drugs in a safe, controlled setting.

Services may include:
· withdrawal support
· assessment
· information sessions
· introduction to self-help groups
· addiction treatment planning
· discharge planning
· referral

Admission is voluntary, confidential, and must be initiated by the client.


Author: Meaghan Szpak

Meaghan has earned her degree in Public Relations from Iowa State University and has returned to work with The United Way of Fort McMurray. Her interest in the social profit sector brought her to the United Way last summer when she worked as an intern. Although she has spent the last few years in the United States, Meaghan is not new to the community of Fort McMurray and considers it home. She is excited about interacting on a daily basis with the people and agencies who give back and help make her home community a better place. In her free time Meaghan loves taking road trips, exploring new places and hiking new trails, all with her husky by her side.