FORT WILLIAM – Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation and Two Row Times partnered last week in hosting a food drive blitz near Thunder Bay; donations were given to the women’s shelters in Thunder Bay and on Fort William First Nation Territory.
On June 29 and 30, several booths were set up outside gas and convenience stores on the territory and during the week prior to the blitz, signs and radio advertisements were set up announcing what was going on. When the food drive ended on the afternoon of June 30th, the team was busy organizing and boxing up hundreds of dollars’ worth of product for the shelters.
“A lot of time when people hear food drive they only bring food — but because this is for the local women’s shelters we would love to see people donate things other than just food; like women’s hygienic products; shampoo; deodorant. Anything that a women’s shelter could benefit from having and have a hard time getting,” said Jennifer Rowe from Grand River Enterprises (GRE).
“We even got boxes of hair dye,” said Rowe. “What a great idea.”
The blitz was a big success and that success may have had a lot to do with the advertising leading up the big day.
“There’s signs nearby and we had a radio advertisement playing for the last little bit trying to garner more attention towards the food drive,” Rowe. She said last year’s blitz was a big success and she hoped this year’s would be too.
Community members who came to donate a food item or those that purchased a GRE brand smoking product could stop by the booths and collect a prize by spinning a wheel and collecting whatever it landed on and also enjoy a free hotdog and drink prepared by Dreamcatcher Charitable Foundation. Every person who donated got their name placed in a draw to win a 49” TV that was drawn on June 30.
The team handed out prizes just in time to celebrate Canada Day — beach towels, Canadian Flags, coolers, playing cards, mugs and more. There were hardly any prizes left to give away so it means that the community did a great job at donating food and hygienic items.
If someone came to the gas station to buy gas and didn’t know that there was a food drive going on, they could go inside to pay for gas and also purchase a non-perishable food item to donate — so on top of helping the communities’ women’s shelters, the gas and convenience stores near were benefitting from the blitz just as much.
“It’s always crazy here, but today it’s even crazier because of what’s going on outside,” said the owner of K & A Variety Restaurant & Gas Bar on the territory. “It’s great.”
Representatives from TRT spent most of the two day trip collecting food items, handing out prizes and talking to community members about the Two Row Times newspaper and what kind of things people do for fun in the area.