A New Project of True North Aid 

We are Hand Me Ups Ontario: two sisters, and moms, who know the struggle of outfitting children with seasonally-approproate clothing from birth through adulthood. When we started to think about the convenience and privilege of living in the GTA and having access to hand-me-downs, affordable stores, and thrift shops, we thought of the time we spent living in Nibinamik, Ontario and the challenges and expenses that come with living in Ontarios fly-in communities. We imagined the toll on parents when access to essentials are limited, and costs are multiplied.

Project Overview

We started Hand Me Ups with the goal of sending new and gently used clothing up to the community of Nibinamik, to help provide access to clothing for anyone with immediate need, and to help supply their Mission House with a stock of clothing available for future family needs. We know kids and families will continue growing and the need for rotating and replacing clothes is ongoing; our goal is to listen to community leaders to assess needs and provide twice-annual shipments to help fill some of the gaps the community may feel.

We were fortunate enough to learn about True North Aid through a friend, and couldn’t believe our luck in learning that a charity could help us achieve our goals while we can contribute to their overall mission. We officially partnered with True North Aid in March of 2021 and proudly fit into their mission under the category of “hope”. Only with the help of True North Aid were we able to do a large shipment of winter and spring clothing and boots to the community of Nibinamik this spring.

We cant wait to continue our outreach to Nibinamik and expand to other communities in the north and are so proud to be a part of True North Aid’s collective humanitarian effort.

Who, What,
Where & When

We are currently working with a band member in a First Nations community in Northern Ontario called Summer Beaver (Nibinamik First Nation– ᓂᐱᓇᒥᐠ ᐊᓂᔑᓂᓂᐃᐧ ᑕᓇᐱᐃᐧᓂᐠ).  Summer Beaver is located 500km north of Thunder Bay, and is only accessible by plane or winter road.  The population is roughly 350, and access to warm winter clothing is challenging.  There is only one store in the community which is about the size of our average convenience store.  This store acts as the grocery store, hardware store, clothing store, tech shop, post office and bank.  Their selection of items is far from extensive, and the cost is astronomical (a gallon of milk and two chickens once cost me $96).  This, compounded with travel constraints due to Covid, makes extremely challenging circumstances for families.