Ted McLeod wants to do his part to help the people in fire-ravaged Fort McMurray.
McLeod left Duncan in a rented truck recently with 4,600 pairs of new designer jeans for girls and 300 belts.
He headed to Edmonton where he handed over the jeans and belts to the United Way, for distribution to those that need them in Fort McMurray.
McLeod, who currently lives in San Diego but once ran an electrical shop in Duncan, said he has a daughter in the Cowichan Valley who used to sell designer jeans, but she moved on to other interests approximately three years ago and her inventory ended up in his hands.
He said he has been selling the jeans over the years and was planning on ways to sell the rest of them when the catastrophic forest fires struck the northern city in Alberta in May.
“A lot of people lost everything they had in Fort McMurray and I wanted to help out,” he said.
“I have a son who is a chemical engineer that used to work in Fort McMurray, but now he lives in Edmonton and he put me in touch with the United Way there.
“I’m not sure how many kids in that city will need designer jeans, but the United Way said they would sell any they have left and give the money to local charities that are helping in Fort McMurray.”
McLeod said he moved from the hot and balmy Long Beach, California, to Fort McMurray, located just beneath the Arctic circle, in 1974 to work as an electrical engineer.
He said he was working outside in November in minus 40 C and lasted only 28 days and three hours before he decided it was not for him.
“I’m an American and am embarrassed by my country because we have done nothing as a nation to help Fort McMurray through this crisis after Canada has done so much to assist us with forest fires and other emergencies,” he said.
“I just wanted to do something to help those people out.”