The sight of an RCMP officer can make you feel a little nervy, even when you haven’t done anything wrong. But for children, the sight of an RCMP officer can bring awe and joy, especially during the holiday season.
Kids who live in the remote areas of northern Manitoba don’t often see what people who live in cities see every day during the holidays – trees decked out with decorations and lights, reindeer in the mall, and Santa on every corner. That’s why a special project called Toys for the North is taking place, and the RCMP in Manitoba have been involved for the past 5 years because they’re dedicated to bringing some of that holiday joy to children who wouldn’t otherwise have a Christmas.
In December a Royal Canadian Air Force plane will fly Santa and some RCMP officers up to northern Manitoba communities. Santa will meet with the children and hand them each a small toy, and for these kids, it’s the highlight of their Christmas. It’s a highlight for Manitoba RCMP too.
Taking a step back and performing deeds like this isn’t part of a normal day for RCMP officers. They’re often in the middle of a crisis and are out on the streets enforcing laws, setting up roadblocks, and performing breathalyzer tests to arrest drunk drivers. Just enforcing impaired driving laws will keep them hopping, especially for Manitoba RCMP. Although the province doesn’t have an impaired driving rate at the same level as Saskatchewan and the territories, Manitoba still ranks higher than the Canadian average for impaired driving incidents.
This Christmas, you can spread some cheer to your busy RCMP and those who live in remote areas. Donate a toy to your local toy drive, check out the Canadian Toy Association about fundraising options, or, if you happen to see an RCMP officer in your area, say hello and ask them about the Toys for the North campaign.
You can find out more about Toys for the North by visiting the Canadian Toy Association’s web site.