A C-17 military plane landed at the RCMP hanger in 5 Wing Goose Bay on December 16th. But instead of soldiers, it was carrying 2200 toys for the boys and girls of Labrador.
The toys were brought in as part of the Toys for the North program. The program has existed for three years, bringing toys to the Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut. This was the first year the program involved Labrador, thanks to the RCMP in Labrador jumping onboard. Corporal Rick Mills, of the Happy Valley-Goose Bay RCMP, was a driving force behind Toys for the North coming to Labrador. He has been happy to see the commitment the RCMP has for the toy drive.
“The RCMP is a natural partner because we police most of the communities in Canada’s north,” says Mills.
“Therefore, we’re living in the communities, we’re working in the communities, and serving the people in the communities.”
The toys, which are valued at $100, 000, were all donated by the Canadian Toy Association. Because of the donations, every child 11 years of age and younger will receive toys in Hopedale, Northwest River, Natuashish, Forteau, Mary’s Harbour, Black Tickle, Cartwright, Sheshatshiu, Postville, Makkovik, and Nain. A large number of toys will also be dispersed to a toy hamper in Happy Valley Goose Bay.
Even after the freight was unloaded, there was still work to be done with the toys. A day after the toys were delivered, volunteers from the community arrived at the hanger to wrap all the gifts. It was a timely task, but everybody was smiling, knowing it was for a good cause. One volunteer, Dave Pollock, didn’t mind taking time out of his busy schedule to do some wrapping.
“I’ve been around the RCMP organization as a Justice of the Peace and when they approached looking for volunteers, I thought it would idea to come up and help and make Christmas merrier for a bunch of kids,” says Pollock. “Hopefully they’ll enjoy the gifts.”