Nova Scotia

Care packages en route to HMCS Fredericton

The Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre assembled boxes filled with goodies and keepsakes from Nova Scotia this week to send to each crew member. The gesture comes after six crew members were killed in a helicopter crash in late April.

Boxes filled with goodies to let crew know 'we're thinking of them,' organizer says

The Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre assembled hundreds of care packages for crew members aboard HMCS Fredericton. (Travis Thompson/Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre)

A little piece of home is making its way to the crew of HMCS Fredericton.

The Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre filled hundreds of care packages filled with goodies and keepsakes to send to each crew member. The boxes are expected to arrive within the month.

"The feeling that we want to give them is we're thinking of them," said Sarah-Jean Mannette, the public relations co-ordinator for the centre. "We are proud to be Canadian —we're grateful for all that they do."

Six crew members of the Halifax-based vessel died in a helicopter crash off the coast of Greece last month. The victims were Capt. Kevin Hagen, Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough, Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald, Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins, Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke and Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin.

HMCS Fredericton is part a NATO training mission in the Mediterranean Sea.

Clockwise from top left: Capt. Kevin Hagen, Sub-Lt. Abbigail Cowbrough, Capt. Brenden Ian MacDonald, Master Cpl. Matthew Cousins, Sub-Lt. Matthew Pyke, Capt. Maxime Miron-Morin. (Department of National Defence)

"Because of the incident on board, there's that extra desire to want to help in an extra tough time," Mannette said.

"... One of the goals is to boost their [morale] and to let them know they're not alone and we're with them."

The boxes were put together on Friday.

"It was such a wonderful experience," Mannette said. "Our centre is currently shut down [due to COVID-19]. Unfortunately, we don't get to interact with military families like we would normally like to and we don't get to interact with staff."

Volunteers began assembling boxes for HMCS Fredericton on Friday. (Travis Thompson/Halifax & Region Military Family Resource Centre)

Each package contains chocolate from Peace by Chocolate, maple candies from Acadian Maple Products, a Nova Scotia tartan pin, a mini Canadian flag, McDonald's coffee pods and a handwritten card.

Manette said she hopes the packages will provide a boost to the crew.

"It's really just to have a little taste from home and some comfort, a hug, kindness," she said.

Families of the crew members back home are also getting a $50 gift card to Kitchen Door, a meal service based in Dartmouth.

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