Thanks to the generosity of clients, friends, partners and community members, this annual event has collected and distributed hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sporting equipment over the past five years. The results have surpassed even our own expectations and have changed the lives of many young people in remote First Nation communities. 2015 donations went to Lansdowne House, Fort Albany, Kashechewan and Attawapiskat First Nations.
Click the following links to view articles about our 2015 Equipment Drive:
Nov 26, 2015 – Flamborough Review
By Mac Christie
Waterdown students help kids get in the game
Nov 24, 2015 – Burlington Post
By Tim Whitnell
Burlington sports equipment drive fills two trailers for First Nations kids
For our 5th annual drive, we collected over 100 bags of hockey equipment and other sporting goods to distribute to the remote First Nation communities of Anishinabek of Whitefish River, M’Chigeeng, Aundek Omni Kaning, Sheguiandah, Zhiibaahaasing and Sheshegwaning. We also raised over $1,500 in donations for The Children’s Aid Foundation of Halton at our “tailgate” BBQ and with the help of enthusiastic teenage volunteers!
Once again working with the O.P.P.’s Highway Safety Division and Aboriginal Policing Bureau, we found two northern communities to benefit from the Equipment Drive: Long Lake #58 and Ginoogaming First Nations. Ginoogaming is a small Anishnawbe (Ojibway) First Nation located in Northern Ontario on the northern shore of Long Lake near the town of Longlac. Long Lake #58 First Nation is situated nearby along Highway 11. Each winter the Long Lake #58 First Nation participates in the “Little NHL” tournament and community leaders on the reserve encourage young people to get involved. More kids had the opportunity to participate and grow their hockey skills that year thanks to donations of used hockey equipment collected at our event.
Three communities were selected for the 2012 Equipment Drive: Whitesands First Nations community near Thunder Bay and two Cree communities on the James Bay coast – Attawapiskat and Moosonee. These First Nations are accessible only by air, except during the winter months when a “winter road” is constructed across the ice.
With the assistance of the Ontario Provincial Police and due to the isolation and high rates of youth suicide, we identified Osnaburgh and Pikangikum First Nations as the recipients of the annual equipment drive.
This year marked the launch of our Community Equipment Drive. The donations were directed to Aroland First Nation Settlement, 350 km northeast of Thunder Bay. This community was selected because of the high rate of youth suicide among at-risk youth. When we saw positive reactions by the children and their joy at being able to get outside and play hockey, we knew that this was a cause we would continue to support.