The organization filled a mobile storage container with donations of dried food, toiletries, clothing, household items, sports equipment and school supplies from people and groups all over Ontario and some parts of the United States.
National Director of True North Aid Kenneth Smid says the organization’s goal is to provide practical humanitarian relief to northern indigenous communities. After hearing stories from people including Onion Lake resident Linda Naistus, Smid says he promised to try and provide some help.
“She just began to describe a lot of stories of families and individuals in the community of Onion Lake who were struggling to put shoes on the feet of their kids and to provide proper winter clothing and even food obviously was a concern.”
Smid says the program will also help surrounding communities struggling with poverty, and will continue in other indigenous communities if it is successful. The moving and shipping company BigSteelBox is looking after transporting the container, which will stay for storage in Onion Lake.
Director of Operations Brian Hawkins says that the program fits well with their core values of corporate responsibility and that’s why they decided to come on board.
“We want to respond to needs where the needs exist. So when [Kenneth Smid] came and said we have this opportunity in Onion Lake, there’s a need to get some goods to that community and then a further use for that container after the initial move project was done, again for us we have a need, it’s local, we can respond to it and we felt a responsibility to do so.”
Linda Naistus says she is grateful for what the program will do for the community.
“It’s going to be such a positive impact for Onion Lake and it will help so many families and community members. There are a number of families who have a difficult time making ends meet and these donations will help families in various ways.”
The truck with the storage container is on route now and set to arrive January 31st.