Toys for the North

CFB Tren­ton does an­nual trip to de­liver joy to chil­dren.

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - FRONT PAGE - TIM MEEKS THE INTELLIGENCER

CFB TREN­TON — There are a lot of chil­dren in Canada’s north­ern most com­mu­ni­ties that will have a rea­son to smile this Christ­mas thanks to Toys for the North.

Fri­day, a trans­port from Thomson Ter­mi­nals Lim­ited pulled onto the tar­mac at 8 Wing Tren­ton loaded with 28 skids of toys, cloth­ing, di­a­pers and other essen­tials to be trans­ferred to a CC130 Her­cules to be flown to Thun­der Bay and Goose Bay for dis­tri­bu­tion to re­mote com­mu­ni­ties.

“There are many youth- ori­ented char­i­ta­ble groups out there that help the dis­ad­van­taged at Christ­mas but Toys for the North is the only drive that sends toys to thou­sands of Cana­dian chil­dren that live in Canada’s north­ern most re­gions,” said RCMP Cor­po­ral Stacey An­der­son, na­tional co­or­di­na­tor 2018 Toys for the North. “It is not an easy task to co- or­di­nate but the re­ward of these ef­forts is see­ing smiles on those kids’ faces, and know­ing we are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in their lives.”

“O” Divi­sion Royal Cana­dian Mounted Po­lice has par­tic­i­pated in the Toys for the North char­i­ta­ble drive since 2010 in part­ner­ship with the Cana­dian Toy As­so­ci­a­tion and Thomson Ter­mi­nals Lim­ited trans­porta- tion. 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 the north­ern com­mu­ni­ties.

To date the ini­tia­tive has made the hol­i­days a lit­tle brighter by dis­tribut­ing more than $ 500,000 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. “We are grate­ful for the hun­dreds of vol­un­teers who con­trib­ute toys, gift wrap, trans­porta­tion ser­vices, plan­ning and dis­tri­bu­tion from the mem­ber com­pa­nies of the Cana­dian Toy As­so­ci­a­tion, Hall­mark Canada, Thomson Ter­mi­nals, Cana­dian Forces, North Star Air, RCMP Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion, RCMP de­tach­ments and polic­ing partners, as well as the pri­vate busi­nesses and the car­ing pub­lic who help to put smiles on the faces of the chil­dren,” said An­der­son.

“In the last cou­ple of years I’ve headed it up for our com­pany,” said Sean Miller of Thomson Ter­mi­nals Lim­ited. “To our com­pany it’s very im­por­tant, Jim ( Thomson, com­pany founder and co- owner) loves this char­ity, thinks it’s a great idea and is very in­volved with it. This is a big, big thing for him, he works hard at it, gets do­na­tions. We worked even harder this year than we have in the past few years to build up for next year. We got more con­tacts, more com­pa­nies will­ing to do­nate toys, cloth­ing or di­a­pers. I got my com­mu­nity in­volved in it, my mother col­lected toys for this, I talked to the schools and try to get them in­volved, my fam­ily all do­nated toys. Peo­ple need to re­al­ize what the chil­dren up north do not have and what we can do for them to try to help out a lit­tle bit.”

“They do all the work, we’re just the lucky ones that get to de­liver it,” said 8 Wing Com­man­der Col. Mark Goulden. “It’s pretty awe­some, makes a lot of kids happy. These kids don’t get the Christ­mases we grew up get­ting, so it’s a re­ally nice thing that they do. It’s re­ally easy for us, those flights are go­ing there any­way and we have the ca­pac­ity to get the toys on there and drop them off. It’s re­ally in­spir­ing, the giv­ing is amaz­ing.”

TIM MEEKS PHO­TOS/ THE INTELLIGENCER

CFB Tren­ton per­son­nel load the first of 28 skids of toys aboard a CC130 Her­cules air­craft Fri­day that are headed for north­ern com­mu­nites in On­tario and Labrador as part of the Toys for the North ini­tia­tive.

Sgt. Marc La­Porte, Cpl. Stacey An­der­son and Const. Bartek Stankusz pose with 8 Wing Tren­ton Avi­a­tors Cory Ste­wart and Kevin Al­li­son and 28 skids of Toys for the North.

Avi­a­tor Cory Ste­wart hands a gui­tar to 8 Wing Pub­lic Af­fairs Of­fi­cer Capt. Trevor Reid while Sean Miller and Cyril Hawkins from Thomson Ter­mi­nals Lim­ited stand by dur­ing the Toys for the North event Fri­day at CFB Tren­ton.

CFB Tren­ton per­son­nel and representatives from the RCMP, RCMP Vet­er­ans As­so­ci­a­tion and Thomson Ter­mi­nals Lim­ited were on hand Fri­day at 8 Wing for the ninth an­nual Toys for the North cam­paign.

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