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Finding heads for our extra beds: Mattress donations make it as far as Yellowknife, NWT

Mattress donations make it as far as Yellowknife, NWT
A volunteer loads items to be donated to communities.

May 2021 - Over the years, we’ve had great success in supporting local communities, non-profit organizations and Indigenous communities near our operations through in-kind donations. After completing our yearly standardized mattress swap out at our Christina Lake and Foster Creek camps last December, we had nearly 1,200 spare sets that could be donated. Luckily, our community partner, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SSVP) Edmonton was able to assist us in extending this donation and helped to identify communities and organizations in northern Alberta and the Northwest Territories (NWT) that could put them to good use.

SSVP’s North of 60 Program aims to address the growing issue of poverty north of the 60th parallel (the Alberta-NWT Border). The program organizes and distributes food, living and basic needs donations to isolated northern communities.   

“We’ve grown every year and now provide food security to 15 Arctic communities, as well as basic needs,” says Peter Ouellette, Western Regional Council Member with SSVP. “We were able to place the donation of bed sets from Cenovus camps into homes in need. Donations like these substantially help us address living standards in these communities.”  

Through the North of 60 Program, mattresses were donated to:  

  • Whitefish Lake First Nation and Saddle Lake Cree Nation.
  • Enoch Cree Nation, Paul First Nation and Kapawe’no First Nation.
  • Two youth emergency shelters and one adult emergency shelter.
  • One addiction recovery centre.
  • North of 60 Nations near Yellowknife.
  • Society of St Vincent de Paul in Yellowknife, NWT.
  • Edmonton area homes through SSVP.

“The extra mattresses at our camps have provided us with a good opportunity to help communities in need and work with an amazing partner,” says Mike Marsh, Cenovus Foster Creek Camp Supervisor. “I’m proud that Cenovus gets to play a small part in one of the many amazing charitable initiatives SSVP organizes in communities across Canada. The work Daryl Dittrich, Peter Ouellette and the rest of the organization does daily, deserves more recognition and I’m glad we can shine some light on it.

Since 2018, Cenovus Field Accommodations Department and the North of 60 Program have partnered each year to donate mattresses and bed products to communities in need. Last month, two sea cans of the mattresses arrived in the communities and Indigenous nations near Yellowknife, NWT.