News / Winnipeg

Winnipeg teen campaigns to deliver food and toys to families in Churchill

Skylar Ferguson, 16, said she was heartbroken last May when she heard rail service to the community was cut off due to flooding.

Sixteen-year-old Skylar Ferguson started the Christmas for Churchill campaign to ensure people in that northern community have toys and food items for the holidays after floods halted rail service.

Michelle Bailey / For Metro

Sixteen-year-old Skylar Ferguson started the Christmas for Churchill campaign to ensure people in that northern community have toys and food items for the holidays after floods halted rail service.

Skylar Ferguson has dreamed of moving north and working with polar bears ever since she was a little girl.

The 16-year-old Grade 11 student from Oak Park High School is so enamored with the bears and the Town of Churchill, she said she was heartbroken last May when she heard rail service to the community was cut off due to flooding.

“I already knew that getting goods to the town was tough even with rail service because I had done a school project about the community,” Ferguson said. “The cost of things like food went up that much more because it could only be flown in.”

“I just knew I had to do something,” she said as she modestly shrugged her shoulders.

That’s when Christmas to Churchill came to life.

Ferguson, an A-plus student who competes in several sports such as volleyball, works part time at a golf course and volunteers at the Children’s Hospital, launched her campaign to make sure kids and families in Churchill have what they need for the holidays.

“I started the GoFundMe page a couple of weeks ago, and it has already raised over $1,000,” she said.

Donations of food and toys are also starting to come in as word spreads of Ferguson’s efforts.

“Baby formula, which is double what it costs in Winnipeg, pasta, canned food and new, unused toys are greatly appreciated. We’ll be collecting these items until December 10 so that there is lots of time to get them up north before the holidays.”

Ferguson said she is beyond grateful that Frontiers North, Calm Air and Gardwine have pitched in by offering to deliver the goods.

“I can’t believe how many people and companies and friends are helping me with this.”

Her mom, Kim Ferguson, said her and her husband Gary couldn’t be more proud of their “wildly determined” teenage daughter, who ironically, has never set foot in Churchill.

“Everything she does she runs with it and does it to the fullest.”

How to donate:

Cash to Ferguson's GoFundMe page

Donations of non-perishable food and toys:

Nov. 18 and Dec. 2 – 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. - Oak Park High School

Dec. 9 – 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. – Oak Park High School

Dec. 10 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – Last Chance Christmas Craft Sale/Club Regent Casino

Regular hours at the following businesses:

Academy Lanes (all locations)

Breezy Bend Country Club

Petals at 640 Leila Ave.

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