The following is the Executive Summary of the Western Region North of 60 Project 2022 Annual Report. To read the full report, please click the picture at the bottom of this article. Contributed by Peter Ouellette.
The Work of Society of Saint Vincent de Paul continued last year as more of a Catholic parish outreach project led by members of our Society at their parish/conference. The reasons to shift away from SSVP ownership of this North of 60 Project and to move towards a Vincentian leadership of a parish outreach program is best demonstrated with our younger parishioners. When the youth of the church get involved in the collection of used hockey equipment, the zoom discussions with Arctic students, and the whole parish family supporting the request for food and household items, we see the true value of helping those in need. To see our parish youth painting a mural on the sea cans that will be shipped to the Arctic, is a lasting memory.
We continued to support the nine Communities shown on the map and additionally have a new initiative of supporting Vinnie’s Thrift Store in Yellowknife. Our basic food security program has grown into several systemic change initiatives. The Men’s Shed program in Tuktoyaktuk is new. The creating of a Warming and Distribution Centre in Paulatuk is nearing a completion date. This same concept is being explored in Ulukhaktok. There is a new initiative working with the Mosque food bank in Inuvik. In July we were privileged to assist Arctic Pilgrims on their journey to Edmonton to be with Pope Francis.
With your continued help, we will be able to develop and maintain the rapport with the elders and all members of the Arctic Communities that we support.
This project is managed by a team of SSVP volunteers. There are no paid employees. Team members are assigned a community. They work with members of their own parish to learn about the needs of those living in a specific Arctic Community. Their role is to develop knowledge and most importantly long-term rapport that allows for an accurate listing of the community needs as well as a confidence of fair distribution of the product shipped. The team members make Community visits every couple of years. Team members also meet their contacts or other Community Elders when they are in Edmonton on personal or medical visits.
We again are grateful to our corporate benefactors who make this project financially viable. The transportation logistics, food supply and household product donations continue to be strong as well as the dollar donations that many of you have made. Please continue to be generous.
Thank you for helping us to help others, and blessings to all of you.