Local RCMP officers are making sure everyone on two and four legs are taken care of this holiday season.
Detachment members are simultaneously running a toy drive in conjunction with local food bank and soup kitchen, the Door of Hope, and a canned food and supply drive for the Meadow Lake and District Humane Society.
The toy drive has taken place over the last few years. The Door of Hope is accepting donations of toys for children and teens, and has a list of families, as does the RCMP, and then officers will help wrap, then deliver the gifts a few days before Christmas. Any excess toys are then delivered to the RCMP detachment and the emergency room and ambulance bay at the hospital.
Unita Esau, Executive Director of the Door of Hope, said she’s thankful for the partnership with the local RCMP for this drive.
“I think it’s good for both organizations,” she said. “It really sheds a positive light on partnering within the community. There can be a lot of stress on some families at Christmas, so this is our way to ease that stress and making sure every child has a good Christmas. Together I think we do a really good job.”
As for the humane society drive, Cst. Lindsey Badger came up with the idea in conjunction with the detachment’s animal rescue efforts.
“When we drop a dog off there, it becomes their responsibility,” she said. “We figured this would be an easy way to give back to [the humane society]. They said they always need things like gloves, paper towel and wet food. It doesn’t take much to throw an extra item in your cart. If you don’t have the money to pick it up, you might have something extra laying around at home anyway.”
Other items include puppy pads, puppy and kitten kibble, dog and cat treats, canned dog and cat food, hand sanitizer and soap and liquid laundry soap. Badger said any donations can be dropped off at the RCMP detachment Dec. 8 to 10 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., but the RCMP will also doing a pick up.
“If people can’t get out because they’re busy with the holidays or away for the weekend, they can just leave them on their step, and on Sunday we’ll drive around and grab them with the police truck,” Badger said.
She said these types of initiatives are important for RCMP officers to participate in. She said Sgt. Ryan How commented that there are a wide variety of officers that have various passions, and she said the RCMP leadership encourages their staff to be involved with the community in their own ways.
“I think it’s important for the community to see that we’re regular people too,” she said. “Some people might go to the schools and want to play soccer with the kids or basketball at lunch hour. Animals are my thing, and if the RCMP supports me I might as well go out and do what I can.”
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