As freighters arrive in communities around Nunavut, among the mix of new furniture, vehicles and food are school supplies donated from the south.
Northern Canada Mini Projects sent hundreds of boxes of coloring books, graphic novels, pencils, puzzles, water bottles and other school supplies to the North last year and again for the school year. future.
Jeannie Ugyuk, chairman of the Taloyoak District Education Authority, witnessed the joy that donated backpacks, in particular, brought to children last year.
“The kids like it a lot,” Ugyuk said. “You don’t see (similar supplies) on store shelves here in town. They don’t seem to be the top priority, and ordering stuff is expensive, so that’s much appreciated… backpacks are commonly used for day trips and all.
She added that it is a bonus that not only selected students receive donated school supplies, but all children who attend school benefit.
Cindy Dhillon, founder of Northern Canada Mini Projects, has a network of donors across the country who contribute to various causes throughout the year.
“We send out school supplies once I know there are gaps and for things like after-school art programs,” she said, adding that prizes for incentive programs like de. good math quiz scores or better attendance are also shipped. “Teachers (or) principals etc. tell me what they don’t have or can’t get and we’ll help. “
There will also be hygiene products in the care packages this year because Dhillon heard from a few teachers in Nunavut that in some low-income households, residents periodically have to choose between buying food or purchasing household items. hygiene.
Once Dhillon is made aware of special needs, she creates a post on the Northern Canada Mini Projects Facebook page to inform her army of supporters.
“We send out items for everyone from northern child care centers in need to grade 12 classes,” she said.
It doesn’t stop at school supplies. Northern Canada Mini Projects also shows its generosity during the Christmas period. Nearly 4,600 gifts were sent to children in Nunavut last Christmas, according to Dhillon. Other gifts went to Elders and school staff.
The group was also instrumental in equipping the Chesterfield Inlet daycare center with educational toys and launching a food bank in this community earlier this year.
Donors organize fundraisers to ensure Elders are fed. and some of the volunteers are busy making quilts Every Child Counts for the Elders who survived the residential school era.
“We send the items they receive to wrap their arms. These are community members who have gone through so much in silence, ”said Dhillon.