The Sault Ste. Marie detachment of the OPP, in partnership with Rome’s Independent Grocer, held their 15th annual Stuff-A-Cruiser event on Saturday.
Auxiliary Sargeant Steven Whitfield has been involved with Stuff-A-Cruiser since its inception. He said the community is always on-board with this event, filling both the tralier and the two OPP cruisers with food items and gifts for the Soup Kitchen Community Centre.
Whitfield said Rome’s has been a great supporter of this initiative from the very beginning.
“Anything we can do to help,” said store owner Chris Rome. “The OPP has been great – they do all the work, we just give them the location. And the customers are great, too, about helping out. And this time of year it’s very important to help the food banks out as well. I think it’s a great cause.”
Rome said he’s passed this idea along to corporate and other stores have started taking part in it as well, but it was started by the OPP here in the Sault.
Constable Christie McClelland, Provincial Constable at SSM Detachment and Auxiliary Liaison Officer, brought her two children to help volunteer during Saturday’s event, loading up the cruisers and getting experience speaking to the community.
“(This will) give them the chance to give back to their community,” she said. “There are a lot of families in our community that need help, especially this time of the year, so it’s nice to come together as a unit and collect all of these non-perishable food items and gifts and to give to the soup kitchen.”
Whitfield said holding this event is important because “at this time of year, families are struggling in order to make Christmas happy, and this actually contributes to their happiness.”
He said this aspect makes it very community oriented and helps contribute towards Christmas spirit in the Sault.