The RCMP detachment is kicking off a season of giving back this month, with events and initiatives throughout the next two months.
“We try to get out and do positive things in the community this time of year,” said Community Const. Steve Beck. “We spend all year in houses we know won’t necessarily have the best Christmases, so we do what we can to make it better for them.”
To that end, the detachment has organized a toy drive Dec. 6, and will be cruising the streets with helpers to pick up toys and other donations for families.
“We won’t be going to people’s doors and knocking,” said Beck. “We’re not there to bother them, but if they see and hear us coming and want to come out and give something, we’ll be happy to take it.”
In addition to the toy drive, the police also organize a turkey drive in partnership with Super A Foods. Last year, they handed out 90 complete turkey dinners in Hay River and the Hay River Reserve, plus another 20 in Fort Resolution.
For New Year’s, Beck said the plan was to devote one night to drunk-driving awareness, something that has gone over well in previous years.
“We get the kids out, and we do check stops,” he explained. “The kids talk to drivers and give a message about drunk driving, then tie a ribbon onto their antenna to show that they support sober driving. It’s been very well received in the past.”
Before the Christmas season really kicks in though, members of the detachment will be lacing up their skates for community events, first for National Addictions Awareness Week this past Monday, and then for a Movember fundraiser game against the younger divisions of minor hockey. The latter will raise money for men’s health charities in the name of Kruger’s Krew, in honour of the late Jack Kruger, a former member of the detachment who passed away this summer.
“It’s important for us to give back in our own community,” said Cpl. Greg Morrow. “And if it can make a difference in people’s lives, then we’ve done what we set out to do.”