The holiday season is a perfect time to reflect and seek out ways to make life better for those around us. We are so fortunate to work with amazing organizations who give back and make a difference to the lives of so many every day of the year. The holiday spirit of the J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) elves has seen many collaborations with these wonderful community groups and their volunteers. We thank them for their service and the opportunity to work together.
Years ago, as a young child in the Philippines, our Moncton co-worker Charmine was given a gift-filled shoebox from Operation Christmas Child. Today she is a hands-on volunteer with other JDI employees putting together Christmas gift boxes for struggling children in the developing world.
The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without connecting with our PALS (Partners Assisting Local Schools) schools and helping families in need. This year JDI teams and PALS Community Partners came together to donate a record breaking 200+ holiday hampers for families in need. In addition, over 180 turkeys were donated to several amazing Saint John community groups for holiday meals - First Steps, Second Steps Housing, Outflow Ministries, as well as the Boys and Girls Club.
Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada is dedicated to granting wishes to Canadian children between the ages of 3 and 17 who are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. For the past three years, New Brunswick Southern Railway has donated the crews, engines and passenger cars to host the magical Polar Express for families in Saint John and McAdam! Like the movie, a golden ticket takes children on a whimsical train ride complete with cookies and hot chocolate along with a special visit from Santa Claus and his elves! This year's Polar Express: Believe in Wishes train rides raised over $98,000 for The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. With those funds, an additional 9 children will receive wishes. We couldn’t have done it without the amazing student elves from Harbourview and McAdam high schools. Their energy and enthusiasm made the trip for our special little passengers!
The Luxor Shriners support much needed medical treatment for children, and we were delighted when they invited us to support this great cause through their FEZtival of Trees. All the trees in the Feztival are sponsored, decorated, adorned with gifts with all funds going to Shriners projects for kids.
The Empty Stocking Fund has been a Saint John tradition for over 100 years. This year we had another record-breaking year raising funds to bring Christmas to so many children in our community. Children come from throughout the community to perform holiday carols raising funds for those less fortunate. Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who made this event a great success and all the talented performers.
In November and December, we held casual days where our employees donated funds in support of Operation Red Nose Greater Saint John. Today, we were proud to donate over $2,500 to the cause.
The mission of Operation Red Nose is to encourage responsible behavior regarding impaired driving by enabling communities to provide a free and confidential chauffeur service to their members. All funds raised by Operation Red Nose are redistributed to local organizations dedicated to youth.
Romero House in the heart of uptown Saint John aims to provide at least one hot meal every day for those in need. JDI donates roasts of beef, ham and turkeys in addition to ice cream for the kids and other goodies that make up a holiday feast.
This Christmas we celebrated with 5 new families to Canada from Brazil and Ukraine. Our foresters and their kids enjoyed a great adventure, surprising these newcomer families with their first Christmas tree, complete with decorations and presents for the newcomer kids.
Earlier this month, students from Seaside Elementary School on the West Side of Saint John stopped by Irving Pulp & Paper (IPP) for a visit. Every year the students help our employees decorate the windows in the office for the holiday season! The IPP team is pleased to be part of the PALS program - mentoring and volunteering amazing students at Seaside Elementary. Thanks to these little artists, the mill now has beautiful festive artwork to last the whole season.
Cashier Emily Largesse was pleased to accept new unwrapped toys for the Hants County Christmas Angels Society from generous neighbours in Hants County, NS. The Kent Windsor store was delighted to serve as the drop off location for this great cause.
This year, our shipbuilders raised over $12,000 in support of CTV Christmas Daddies Telethon. The funds were raised in memory of the late Bill Murphy, a former Shipyard employee who always encouraged the workforce to recycle their cans and bottles to raise funds for the telethon. His co-workers have worked hard to carry on this tradition and started an Annual Bowling Tournament to raise additional donations!
Throughout the year, the construction and equipment division do numerous fundraising initiatives to raise money to provide gifts for families in need at Christmas time. This year, our Custom Fabrication and Machining (CFM) team was able to provide for 4 Christmas Families. They host BBQ's during the summer and fall, 50/50 draws for in-house made fire pits and many other opportunities for giving throughout the year.
From our family to yours, happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful New Year!