Toys for the North Thrills Children
THUNDER BAY- NEWS – Toys for the North headed to seven communities in Northern Ontario on December 16, 2016. While the usual path for toys at this time of the year is from the North Pole at Santa’s workshop, Toys for the North sees toys head north to make a brighter Christmas holiday for children across the north.
The program in Northern Ontario runs in partnership with the “O” Division of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and North Star Air.
For the past three years, across Northern Ontario, North Star Air has participated in the ‘Toys for the North’ toy drive. Toys are flown from the Thunder Bay International Airport to make sure children across the North have some extra smiles over the holiday season.
“Since our inception as an airline we have successfully grown and evolved to meet the changing and growing demands of Northern Ontario by becoming a vital link for the communities,” says Frank Kelner, President and CEO of North Star Air. “Of utmost importance to us is to build long and respectful relationships with First Nation communities and customers”.
“Our vision and role has grown beyond the services we offer, we invest back to the communities. We are proud and dedicated to play an active role in making a positive difference, particularly in sponsoring and supporting youth activities,” continued Kelner.
“Being a part of the Toys for the North program makes it worthwhile to see the smiles on the children’s faces, especially during this time of the holiday season.”
The entire Toys for the North project started in 2010 in partnership with the Canadian Toy Association and Thomson Terminals transportation. This initiative has evolved over the past five years to include a national network of RCMP, law enforcement, corporate and external partners who collectively contribute to the success of delivering new toys to children in our northern communities.
There are many charity groups and organizations that currently deal with toys for children in need but there are no major efforts to do a similar drive for the thousands of children that in Canada’s north.
Starting a major toy drive in our region takes the efforts by key partners and stakeholders; the Canadian Toy Association, Thomson Terminals, the RCMP “B” and “O” Divisions, RCMP Veteran’s Association (Toronto, Kingston and Ottawa divisions), the Royal Canadian Armed Forces, Thunder Bay International Airport, and North Star Air, assisted by hundreds of volunteers, all who contributed to this year’s Toy For the North success by bringing joy and smiles to children and families across Northern Canada.
“We are happy to part of this this great initiative contributing and helping with the shipping and logistics to deliver the toys,” says Mary Ellen Thomas, Director of Commercial- Community and Public Relations.
Over the years, Toys for the North have made the holidays a little brighter by distributing over $420,000 worth of toys to children in Northern parts of Labrador, Manitoba, Nunavut, and Ontario.
This year’s toy delivery by RCMP detachment staff will take place in northern communities located in Newfoundland/Labrador and Ontario.
The toys started their journey from Thunder Bay on Friday, December 16th 2016.
The journey north from Thunder Bay included RCMP Officers, Constable Darryl Waruk, and Constable Rena CURRIE, along with the RCMP Safety Bear.
In Bearskin Lake First Nation, the students at the school had a great time meeting the RCMP Safety Bear and the officers.
The Children loved getting their toys and getting to meet and share a great Christmas message.
In Sachigo Lake First Nation ….
In Round Lake First Nation…
The full list of Northern Ontario communities on the Toys for the North list this year are:
North Spirit Lake
North Caribou Lake