In 2017, True North Aid launched its Northern Presents project in partnership with St. Benedict’s Elementary School in Milton ON. This partnership came about because of a grade 5 student, Evan Johnston, who wanted to do something to help northern Indigenous communities. Through this initiative, students provided more than 700 gift packages to Indigenous school children in northern Saskatchewan communities. This initiative continues to run each year with the help of several schools in the greater Toronto area.
With more than 60 percent of children living below the poverty line in northern Indigenous communities in Canada, there is much work to be done. Many families do not have basic access to clean drinking water, are left living in over- crowded conditions and, for many children, gifts during the holiday season are not possible. True North Aid has partnered with several schools over the past few years to provide these gifts to youth living in northern communities. Each package is filled with toys, school supplies, notebooks, winter wear and more. Students are encouraged to decorate their box with drawings and positive messages.
Northern Presents is a True North Aid HOPE project. It doesn’t fix a problem but it is one way we can let our northern Indigenous children (and their families) know that we have not forgotten them.
Mission & Goals
- To provide children living in northern communities with useful toys, school supplies, winter clothing in more by working with southern schools across all provinces to help collect and pack gift boxes
- Provide support to staff and students who participate in the northern presents program to make sure they are safe and that boxes are not lacking or overfilled
- Ship boxes once filled to a northern community
Who, What, Where & When
A huge thank you to Coronation Public School, Michael Cranny Public School, St Benedicts Catholic School and St Theresa Catholic School for collecting more than 1000 gift packages. They included school supplies, winter wear, toys and more. The packages will go to support students living in northern Saskatchewan communities.
Last spring, Evan Johnston of Milton Ontario, decided he wanted to help northern communities in Canada. He was inspired by a class project “community and the common good”. With the help of family, friends and classmates he collected donations of coats and schools supplies. Once again, Evan decided he wanted to do more and with the help of the entire school we launched “Northern Presents”. Students have all been encouraged to fill a large envelope with suggested items both practical and fun and decorate the outside of their envelope. Thank you Evan, Keldon, Benjamin and Farah for helping to lead this project and helping us help our northern communities and their families this Christmas season.
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