On July 1, Mike Bokor and a few hundred volunteers are hoping to pull off an NWT miracle: to collect thousands of pounds of food for people in need.
Bokor was inspired by the May 16 Miracle event in Chatham-Kent, Ontario, where 678,200 lb of food was collected in one day. His sister helped organize the first event in Ontario, and now he has decided to bring the event north.
So far, residents in Yellowknife, Fort Smith, Hay River, Inuvik, Norman Wells, Dettah, and Délı̨nę have stepped up to help run Miracle events in their communities on Canada Day.
The organizers are hoping that with most people off that day and so few events taking place, it will be easier to find volunteers and get people to participate.
“Our hope is that every person in the territory will put a can of food out onto their front doorstep or somewhere easily accessible for volunteers to go around and collect,” Bokor explained, adding people can also help by spreading the word – putting up posters in their windows or drawing with chalk on the sidewalk about the event.
Volunteers will stick with their household to collect the food to ensure physical distancing, while a separate group of volunteers will organize the food once it has been dropped off to be sorted.
The food will then be distributed to organizations in the various towns that hand out food to people in need.
“The other thing that we’re looking at doing … is once we get it all into storage, we will actually open up that storage two or three times a week and people can come in and shop for free, no questions asked, until the food is gone,” Bokor added.
He called that idea “a way to bridge those summer months where some of these programs are shut down and not operating any more.”
Organizers are looking at partnering with airlines to fly food into communities that weren’t able to participate.
The NWT Miracle is still in need of volunteers to collect food or organize their apartment buildings, Bokor said. If people have a few hours to spare on July 1, they can contact organizers through nwtmiracle.com.
“We expect that in Yellowknife alone, we’ll probably need about 350 volunteers to hit every door. There’s like 7,700 private residences, so for us to do that in two hours we need a lot of people,” he said.
“We’re really hoping that the community comes together. One small action from everyone can really make this a miracle.”