Toys for the North – The Journey Starts

Toys for the North while they get loaded inside a C-130J Hercules parked at the 8 Wing Tarmac, November 27, 2013. Photo courtesy of: Cpl Precious Carandang, 8 Wing Trenton
Toys for the North while they get loaded inside a C-130J Hercules parked at the 8 Wing Tarmac, November 27, 2013. Photo courtesy of: Cpl Precious Carandang, 8 Wing Trenton

Toys for the North while they get loaded inside a C-130J Hercules parked at the 8 Wing Tarmac, November 27, 2013. Photo courtesy of: Cpl Precious Carandang, 8 Wing Trenton
Toys for the North get loaded inside a C-130J Hercules, parked at the 8 Wing Tarmac, November 27, 2013. Photo courtesy Cpl Precious Carandang, 8 Wing Trenton

Hercules Full of Toys for the North Arrives Today!

THUNDER BAY – After many hours of planning and a long list of volunteers (angels), more than ten skids of donated new toys will be arriving in Thunder Bay via CAF military aircraft CC130 Hercules sometime Monday. “I have good word that the aircraft has departed Trenton at 8:00 am ET this morning. First stop Labrador then wheels down at approximately 4:30 pm ET in Thunder Bay,” says Karen Matson, Marketing & Community Relations at North Star Air.

Toys for the North all ready to head up to young people in Round Lake and Bearskin Lake
Toys for the North all ready to head up to young people in Round Lake and Bearskin Lake Image from 2015 Toys for the North.

North Star Air’s team has been working with the “O” Division Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), participating in the ‘Toys for the North’ charitable drive. This initiative has evolved over the 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. North Star Air has been a partner of the Toys for the North campaign for the past 4 years.

The arrival of the Hercules in Thunder Bay doesn’t mean the journey is over. The toys, along with other donated goods and a very special guest, will be air delivered next week to remote northern Ontario First Nations communities via North Star Air’s flight network. “It’s an exciting time, knowing all this hard work will very soon bring many smiles to many faces in the North.” continues Matson. “We have big plans for December 17th when we actually fly in and visit with the recipient communities and celebrate Christmas alongside their community members.”

Once the cargo is debarked from the Hercules in Thunder Bay late Monday, Gardewine Freight Delivery will then move the cargo to their local warehouse where more volunteer hours will triage the goods by age and gender per community. “We’re talking thousands of pieces that need to be organized so that the next phase can continue as planned, without a hitch,” says S/Sgt. Normand Roy of the RCMP.

The triaged goods will then be transported by Gardewine Freight Delivery back to the North Star Air hangar on Hector Dougall Way where they will be loaded onto a Dash8 aircraft ready for their destinations. Joining S/Sgt. Normand Roy and Cst. Tavis Clemens of the RCMP this year on the trip north will be representatives from North Star Air, the media and our very special guest! Your favourite white-bearded jolly ole’ soul, the man in red himself, Santa Claus will be joining the celebrations and bringing joy to so many young people of the North as he personally hands out the toys.


You can follow the journey north with Toys for the North and Santa on the North Star Air Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/northstarair/?ref=bookmarks.