'I Love Attawapiskat' urges Canadians to help youth
Campaign organizer says even a shoe box-sized donation can bring relief and hope to isolated community
A new national campaign is encouraging Canadians to declare 'I Love Attawapiskat,' and send shoe boxes full of supplies to youth in the James Bay community.
I'm sending whole hearted support to <a href="https://twitter.com/iloveatt1">@iloveatt1</a> to show I care+am committed to Aboriginal youth+communities. Please send your support+follow—@ClaraHughes_
The campaign was started by the organization called 'I Love First Peoples.'
President Josee Lusignan said she wants youth in Attawapiskat to know Canadians care about them.
Lusignan said the catalyst for 'I Love Attawapiskat' was watching the recent suicide tragedies unfold in the remote northern community.
"I had never for a second imagined that in a country as prosperous as ours that we would need the help of organizations to help our own children."
Lusignan said the organization is planning to hold a benefit concert to raise money for the community's youth.
But it is not only celebrities who are encouraged to assist.
Lusignan said her organization accepts 'shoe box' donations — packages of small toys, personal hygiene products and school supplies — for the youth of Attawapiskat.
She has worked on a similar project in Rapid Lake, Que., and said that since it began, school absenteeism has dropped 40 per cent.
"What we're looking to do is work with the youth to establish the projects that they want to set up," Lusignan said.
"So they can be trained thereby transforming their own communities and leaving a legacy."
With files from Olivia Stefanovich. Edited/packaged by Casey Stranges.