It turns out that holiday cheer can sometimes be put on a truck and delivered!

Cassidy’s is proud to announce that we’ve played a part in helping some indigenous and low-income kids have a happier Christmas this year. We provided free freight shipping for over 150 boxes of donated clothes, toys, and other items from Cobourg to the Thunder Bay area.

A Partnership in Giving

Melissa Gray is a teacher who has started working at Sherbrooke Public School in Thunder Bay. Every year, wherever she is teaching, she reaches out to the community to try and get donations of clothes, food and school supplies for her kids.

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In the past, Nancy Bailey of Helping Hands Cobourg had organized dozens of volunteers to help collect needed items for Melissa’s students, and agreed to do so again this year.

“Our students, for the most part live well below the standard of living most of us are accustomed to,” explains Melissa. “So these donations that Nancy Bailey has collected for us really mean a lot to the kids, especially at a time like Christmas. These donations have been carefully hand picked for our students and their families, and they will not only help them in their everyday lives but they will give them a big smile this Christmas.”

Donated winter clothing, blankets and toys
Donated winter clothing, blankets and toys.

The donated items include the basic necessities that every kid should have:Hats, mittens, scarves, socks – including some that were hand-knitted for the occasion by Helping Hands volunteers

  • Warm coats, scarves and boots
  • Gently used sports equipment
  • Clothes in good condition
  • Toys
  • Books
  • School supplies like backpacks, crayons, pencil crayons, drawing paper
  • Healthy foods for meals and snacks
  • Toiletries

Melissa and Nancy had organized the donations, but they had no way to get the donations to the school where they’re needed. It’s a long way from Cobourg to Thunder Bay, and Nancy’s volunteers had managed to collect a wonderful amount of goods.

Map of route from Cobourg to Thunder BaySpecial Delivery

When Cassidy’s heard that Melissa needed help, we were happy to donate as much space as was needed in one of our trucks for the 15 hour drive. Our team even contributed some additional donations.

Cassidy’s driver Tim Jenkins made it to the school on the morning of December 19, 2016. Melissa organized all the students and teachers to meet the truck and do a big reveal as Tim opened the doors.

Cassidy's Holiday Donations Delivery 2016
These images, photographed from the evening news, still capture the excitement of the delivery.

Melissa and the other teachers are now in the process of sorting through the donated items to ensure everyone has something that will make them smile for Christmas.

“The selflessness and generosity quite honestly just blows me away,” said Melissa. “Nancy and her crew at Helping Hands-Cobourg have been working countless hours collecting, sorting, cleaning, packing and repacking items all for children they have never met and most likely never will meet.

“In addition, Cassidy’s Transfer and Storage have graciously donated their time, efforts and a truck to make the 16-hour trek from Cobourg to Thunder Bay so that these children and their families get to celebrate the true meaning of giving. There are sincerely great people out there and I am so fortunate to have found them as they are able to better the lives of approximately 160 students and their families this holiday season. It is hard to find the words to be able to say thank you and have them do justice to how I am feeling. I simply can not be more grateful.”

To learn more about Helping Hands Cobourg, check out their Facebook page.

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