For the past seven years, I Love First Peoples has been on a mission to support Indigenous communities, by empowering children and youth to succeed through education and the motivation to stay in school.
One of the ways they achieve this goal is through their regular Friendship Box Campaign. The organization accepts shoeboxes filled with gifts for Indigenous youth to encourage them on their educational journey.
Thousands of these boxes have been delivered to Indigenous communities across Canada, thanks to a team of volunteers and organizers who handle everything from collecting, organizing and shipping them out.
The COVID-19 Pandemic presented a significant challenge to the organization. How could they gather and deliver these boxes while practicing physical distancing, and while many First Nations have restricted non-member access to their community to slow the spread of the virus? The boxes were already collected and ready to go, but the organization would need some help in getting them into the hands of children. Organizers put out a call for help, and that call was answered by organizations that work directly with youth.
Just this past week, more than 1300 Friendship Boxes were delivered to organizations, including:
-The Children’s Aid Society of Ottawa
-The Odawa Native Friendship Centre
-The Children’s Aid Society of The United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry
-Family and Children’s Services of Renfrew County
-Family and Children’s Services of Lanark, Leeds, and Grenville
Boxes were also delivered to the Inuuqatigiit Centre For Inuit Children, and Pikwakanagan First Nation. The organizations will hold on to the boxes until it is safe to disperse them.
I Love First Peoples will continue to support Indigenous Communities during, and after, the pandemic. Click here to find out how you can help.