Two teenagers from Maple Ridge, B.C., made a big impact on the community of Baker Lake this past week.

Eleora Cox and Matthew Cox of Maple Ridge, B.C., prepare another stack of donated goods to be shipped to Baker Lake this past week.
photo courtesy Cox family

The brother and sister tandem of Mathew Cox and Eleora Cox shipped a total of 44 boxes of food items and living supplies to the community after learning a little bit about Baker Lake and deciding to ask for donations from their community to lend a helping hand to the Kivalliq community during the Covid pandemic.

Eleora Cox, 17, said she’s been part of the Girl Guides of Canada for the past 13 years or so.

She said she had to do a service project for her final year, and the usual projects weren’t available due to the impact of Covid-19.

We’ve already been connecting with a family to help them, and we were able to also connect with a food bank to help that, as well.” said Eleora Cox.

Mathew Cox, 15, was also looking for a service project to do, having been a member of the Boy Scouts of Canada for the past 11 years.

He agreed with his sister that service projects are tough to find this year.

You can’t really go and sell popcorn door to door,” said Mathew jokingly.

So Eleora and I decided to pile our service project together and this is what we decided to do.”

Eleora said the siblings were led to the Abluqta Society in Baker Lake through the Helping our Northern Neighbours organization.

She said following the contact with the organization, they reached out to their community to receive donations they could send North.

I think when we first started this, we were going for 10 boxes, maybe just a little more, but that was about it.

It’s amazing that we ended up getting 44 boxes to Baker Lake with the help of people in our community.

There were quite a few more trips to the post office than we first envisioned.”

Abluqta Society members Lionel Quinangnaq (treasurer), left, Viola Haqpi (member at large), Holly Kayuryuk (Thrift Shop/ food bank manager) and Silas Arngna’naaq (chairman of the board) happily display some of the donated goods sent to Baker Lake this past week by brother and sister, Eleora Cox and Matthew Cox, of Maple Ridge, B.C.
photo courtesy Abluqta Society

Mathew said many people bringing in donations were saying they thought it was great for them to be able to do this and help people in the North who really needed it.

He said the community of Maple Ridge has a big heart and he’s just really thankful for everything the people there were able to do.

Actually, I’m going to be needing to do another service project and I’m thinking about doing this again.

It was really quite something to be a part of, to feel joy and gratitude while having my faith in humanity somewhat restored.”

Eleora said the whole process became a bit surreal, seeing how many people reached out in the community to help them with their effort.

She said people in the community seemed happy to jump at the chance to do something positive after dealing with Covid all year.

We’ve been dealing with this since March and the news has been continually dampening since then. So, I think, seeing a way to outreach and help other people across Canada during a time of crisis like this; that appealed to a lot of people who genuinely felt there was a need, and they had the means to fill that need.

I mean, our dining room table was covered three feet deep with boxes of donations we had received. It was a lot more than we had first planned.

It was inspiring to see our community come together. That’s not something I’ve ever really seen happen before — to see so many people with the genuine desire to want to pitch in where they could.

You know, I guess it did help to restore my faith in humanity a little bit.”

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