Igloolik, Nunavut-based Grade 4 teacher Colleen Chau reached out to The Salvation Army's Alberta and Northern Territories Division and set in motion a plan that resulted in hundreds of children and youth outfitted for the upcoming winter season. Joe Fresh of Loblaw Companies Limited generously supplied warm winter clothing. The extensive list includes jackets, pants, hats, mittens, boots and even backpacks for school. Canadian mining company Baffinland Iron Mines, which was uniquely positioned within the region to offer support, provided transportation of the donated supplies to Igloolik.     

“I wanted to do something to help the children in my class and their families,” says Chau, who teaches at Ataguttaaluk Elementary School. “I’m thrilled that what started as a small project has grown into something I never could have imagined; the children are so happy.” 

Colleen Chau holds on sign
Colleen Chau is ready to help Igloolik's children and
youth find their new clothing on distribution day

In a region where temperatures can dip to nearly -40 C, winter clothing is a necessity that no child should have to go without. As in all Canadian communities, the worldwide pandemic has added unforeseen challenges that often stretch household finances. This project has helped ease the burden of additional costs associated with outfitting kids for the winter season. 

“We are honoured to be a part of this initiative, working with The Salvation Army and Baffinland to support the students, families and teachers in Igloolik,” says Lindsay Cook, Vice-President Marketing and Communications for Joe Fresh. “This is an incredibly unique opportunity, where we know our involvement can make a meaningful difference in the community.”

“When need is presented, our organizational instinct is to do everything we can to come alongside the communities and people we serve,” says Major Margaret McLeod, divisional commander, Alberta and Northern Territories Division. “In this case, it was evident from the start that The Salvation Army would require assistance with this project. We’re thankful that Colleen reached out to us for help and equally grateful for the support of our friends at Joe Fresh and Baffinland.” 

The logistics and costs associated with transporting eight pallets of winter gear and other supplies seemed impossible until Baffinland offered their support and expertise to ship the items to the remote community, which is located on Baffin Island and where many Baffinland workers call home.   

“Baffinland is committed to supporting initiatives that benefit the communities in North Baffin,” says Brian Penney, CEO of Baffinland Iron Mines. “The Salvation Army and Joe Fresh have come together to generously provide these supplies to the youth in Igloolik and we are honoured we could do our part as well.”

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