Manulife Financial to donate $10,000 to Canadian Red Cross for Porter's Lake and Tantallon fires


    HALIFAX, June 19 /CNW/ - Through its Halifax Community Board, Manulife
Financial will donate $10,000 to the Canadian Red Cross disaster management
program in response to recent major forest fires near Porter's Lake and
Tantallon, Nova Scotia.
    "Red Cross volunteers directly assisted hundreds of people and spoke in
person or by phone with more than 3,000 evacuees to ensure they were safe and
that any special needs were met," said Gerard Ferguson, chair of Manulife's
Halifax Community Board. "The Red Cross needs our help to maintain its ability
to provide immediate support for these types of disasters."
    More than 50 Canadian Red Cross volunteers worked around-the-clock for
several days. They provided dozens of evacuees with emergency shelter and
ensured that hundreds more had free access to meals, water, childcare and pet
care, and helped arrange emergency replacement of prescription medicines. They
reunited people who had lost touch with family members due to the suddenness
of the evacuations. The Red Cross identified for emergency officials which
residents needed help retrieving pets, and they coordinated information
meetings with authorities to keep residents fully informed throughout the
    "This is what our volunteers are highly trained and equipped to do, but
it does cost money and the Red Cross gratefully acknowledges this support from
Manulife Financial," said John Byrne, General Manager of the Canadian Red
Cross in Atlantic Canada. "Donations like this will also allow us to address
the longer-term disaster management needs of the Atlantic region."
    Manulife recently established local community boards in Atlantic Canada
and Quebec to assess and finance some partnerships that make a difference in
communities where the company has a strong employee presence.

    About Manulife Financial
    Manulife Financial is a leading Canadian-based financial services group
serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide.
Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through 
John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range
of financial protection products and wealth management services through its
extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under
management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$400 billion 
(US$389 billion) as at March 31, 2008.
    Manulife Financial is one of two publicly traded life insurance companies
in the world whose rated life insurance subsidiaries hold Standard & Poor's
Rating Services' highest "AAA" rating.
    Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE,
and under '0945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Manulife Financial, Tom Nunn,
(519) 594-8578,; Canadian Red Cross, Dan Bedell, (902)

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