High School education and diplomas are challenging enough for local students to earn, when living here at home with all their cherished family and community supports in place throughout their teen years.
Those in remote locations including the north, do not necessarily have access to a local secondary school in their community, and some have to move far from home for their high school years, live with strangers, and simultaneously cope with the impact of the very high cost of living for winter outerwear and other clothing, food and supplies.
Dennis Franklin Cromarty First Nations High School in Thunder Bay (DFC) has 145 students this year. Some students come for their grades 9-12 education, from homes in Thunder Bay, whereas most come south from homes in 23 remote northern First Nations fly-in communities located across the north-western quadrant of Ontario.
Most teens live in boarding houses scattered across the city. Some must take 3 buses between home and school, twice a day.
Richmond Hill United Church (RHUC) and friends in this community, are long-term allies of the students, staff and families of Thunder Bay’s DFC First Nations High School. DFC and RHUC work together to remove barriers to education, like not having a winter coat, to ensure student success.
RHUC is also a charter member of HIP – “Honouring Indigenous Peoples” - formed by Rotarians in 2014. HIP’s board of Directors is made up of 50% Indigenous, 50% non-Indigenous, 50% women, 50% men, and is geographically dispersed from coast to coast. HIP’s focus is education, with an emphasis on relationship-building. HIP encourages people and organizations to engage Indigenous people, build friendships, discover shared values, and work together on community challenges. HIP has encouraged Canadians to respond to specific requests from indigenous communities, in order to be most helpful.
DFC current requests to help and support the students this winter are for:
- Winter coats - Adult sizes: M, L, XL (+ hats, gloves/mitts, boots) (goal: 50)
- Girls' hair bands – (goal: 120)
- Swim trunks (Male; goal: 10 Medium,10 Large, 10 XL)
- Towels – (goal: 30)
- Lip chapsticks, hand creams,& face lotions – (goal: 120 each)
These donated new or gently-used items will be packed and shipped in trucks that are already driving to Thunder Bay, whose owners dedicate unused truck space at a reduced shipping cost. RHUC would like to get the coats to Thunder Bay during this winter weather season.
Please deliver any requested items - (or donations payable to “Richmond Hill United Church”, designated “for DFC” – tax donation receipts are provided) - by next Friday, February 21st to the office at RHUC (10201 Yonge St, Richmond Hill ON L4C 3B2 - north-east corner of Yonge & Centre Streets). Access is from the parking lot behind the church, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5:30pm (905) 884-1301x5.
Thank you! For more info please contact Kathy at (647) 458-2717.