Construction worker collects supplies to Northern Indigenous Communities.

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Steve Pawlett

Special to Ontario Construction New

Residents from the Innisfil area have stepped up to the plate and donated over 15 large bags of toys and outerwear that will reach indigenous children in Ontario’s far north.

Construction worker Daniel J.R. Munshaw works for a construction company based in Thunder Bay that has a contract to build homes on the Indigenous reserves in northern Ontario.

Daniel noticed how little the children had up there while on the reserves. Due to the high cost of shipping goods, it’s prohibitive to bring toys and goods in at an affordable price.

“We see the kids around where we are working, and you notice that maybe they are a little underdressed and have few toys. It’s because it’s so expensive to get shipments of goods brought in,” said Munshaw.

“I see myself as a conduit to these northern communities to bring in some much-needed supplies,” Munshaw said. “I am a construction worker who can get to these remote communities and get the cargo there, which would normally be costly.”

“It can be upwards of $2.50 a pound to send cargo out there, which is sometimes unaffordable, so they’re limited to how much you can bring in for Christmas,” adds Munshaw.

The idea for this donation drive came to him on his drive back to Innisfil from his new home in Thunder Bay. Munshaw decided he would reach out to the community asking for donations. “These kids could use brand-name toys and outwear that is just so difficult and costly to get up there.

” I didn’t expect to get so many lovely people messaging me. I quickly discovered Innisfil is filled with “very generous people.”

Munshaw said he was inspired by the Indigenous Every Child Matters movement, which believes that all children are important.

Munshaw will take the donated supplies up in January when he returns to Sachigo Lake. He plans to document the journey through photos and videos and post them on his Facebook page.

“I was happy if I had one or two bags of goods to bring back, and so far, I have 15 large bags to take back with me.

“This response has inspired me, and I have posted it to some of my friends, who have been inspired to help their local communities,” adds Munshaw.

“Once I am back up there, I will work with the other crews to distribute the goods by plane to the other reserves so all the kids can receive something.

“I didn’t expect to do this, but as I drove home from Thunder Bay, I thought I could do something to help out, and here I am with over 15 large bags of goods to take back.”

Anyone who wants to donate can contact Munshaw on his Facebook page.

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