BigSteelBox Partners with True North Aid to Assist Community of Onion Lake
In August of 2017, BigSteelBox began a partnership with True North Aid, a registered Canadian Charity, dedicated to providing practical humanitarian support to northern indigenous communities in Canada.
We began an initiative to fill a 20’ BigSteelBox shipping container with supplies such as non-perishable food, toiletries, winter clothing, household items, school supplies, sporting equipment and so much more. The box was located near Kitchener, Ontario, and individuals and organizations were encouraged to help fill the Box with donations to support northern communities in Saskatchewan.
“Canadians are compassionate by nature, but, often we forget about those in our own backyard. This donation drive for Indigenous communities in northern Saskatchewan was a way for residents of southern Ontario to help people in need, within their own country,” says Kenneth Smid, National Director of True North Aid.
The Box was sent to the First Nations community of Onion Lake, which has a population of roughly 5,000 people, and many other indigenous communities in a 100km radius. These communities are challenged with extreme levels of poverty and depression, with a high percentage of unemployment. However, in recent years, steps have been taken by community members to put an emphasis on well-being and education.
Items were collected for families in need, and after delivery, the BigSteelBox stayed in Onion Lake to be used as secure ongoing storage as a Food and Clothing Bank at the community centre where it is stored.
“We were overwhelmed by the generosity of residents, businesses and organizations throughout Ontario who gave. It took just three months to fill the BigSteelBox with supplies to support these communities and their families”, Smid said.
“BigSteelBox was happy to provide free transport of the loaded container from Kitchener, ON, to Onion Lake, where Edmonton BigSteelBox Store Manager, Joel McComeau, met the Box upon delivery and helped residents unload some of the items.
“The staff at BigSteelBox genuinely care about people, it’s actually one of our company’s our core values” says McComeau. “That’s why we felt compelled and excited to get involved in this initiative with True North Aid.”
“A BigSteelBox is a natural fit when it comes to transporting goods across the country, and having a product that can serve as a long-term storage solution for the community makes this a double win for our entire team,” continues McComeau. “I feel lucky to have been present to help the residents of Onions Lake unload their BigSteelBox. It was an amazing experience.”