Ask my staff, it is not often that I am at a loss for words or can’t find some colorful adjective to express myself, however, today, I find myself at that impasse. So, I shall endeavor to do the best I can, to relay to you how I feel about the people of Dawson Creek and what occurred over the past two weekends.
18 Wheels of Christmas is an annual event in Dawson Creek. It has operated around Western Canada for 16 years and this was our 6th year here in Dawson Creek. We usually run the event here one weekend in mid to late November to benefit our local Food Banks. The event is always a success and we can usually fill or come close to filling the trailer, helping alleviate the strain on our area Food Banks. This year, November 16th, 17th and 18th, was no exception as we filled the trailer right up at the Dawson Creek Co-Op and collected a significant number of toys as well as cash donations that went towards the purchase of turkeys and hams for Christmas hampers. This event benefitted the Salvation Army.
We were approached this year by Safeway Extra and the other two food banks in our community asking if we would consider running a second food drive on November 23rd and 24th. Never ones to back down from a challenge, we jumped right in and prepped the truck and trailer for a second event. We had no idea what to expect as we had already asked a lot of our community, but they did not back down from a challenge either! They filled that trailer to overflowing a second time over the course of two days! In addition, there was a significant amount of money donated that will be going towards Safeway Gift cards that can be used by the Food Banks to purchase whatever supplies they need. The Sobey’s Group is going to match those donations dollar for dollar! This event benefitted Networks and St. Mark’s Food Banks.
My staff at Rosenau Transport Ltd. here in Dawson Creek put a great deal of effort into these events. Especially Karen Brisebois who is planning months in advance. I also have a great team that volunteer for hours during the event. However, that is just the start of the process. Events like this require a tremendous number of volunteers, organizers, sponsors and promotion. Luckily for us, this community has no shortage of big hearts and a willingness to make a positive difference in people’s lives. These are people who volunteered long hours at either or both events, made substantial contributions, provided materials and supplies or helped promote our events. To these amazing people and organizations, I can only offer you my gratitude on the behalf of the people you have helped. You will never know their names, and they will likely never know yours, except possibly through this medium. I can tell you this however, over 30% of the people using the food banks are senior citizens on insufficient fixed incomes, 45% are young working families, struggling to make ends meet while working in minimum wage jobs in service industries, 20% are single parent families and the other 5% are emergency assistance recipients. I want each and everyone of you to know that you personally made a substantial difference in someone’s life because of your generosity and volunteer spirit. So, on behalf of The Salvation Army, Networks, and St. Mark’s Food Bank, I thank you. I also thank these organizations for bringing many volunteers to both events.
Thank you to the people of Dawson Creek who give so generously, year-round, and are committed to making this City one we can all be proud of. Because of you, no child should need to go without a gift this year, and more importantly, no family need do without food. Please remember, these organizations serve the people of Dawson Creek year-round, not just at Christmas time. Please ensure you continue to support them.
Regional Manager – Northern British Columbia - Rosenau Transport Ltd.