For the second year in a row, TransCanada employees in Calgary and Airdrie joined Stephen McPhee, the founder of the Stephen’s Backpacks Society; and members of the Siksika Nation, to stuff a truck full of toys that were donated by TransCanada employees for children in need across Alberta.
Stephen, an autistic boy from Airdrie, Alta., started collecting items for children in need in 2006 when he was five. It began with the simple words “mommy I need to help them.” Out of that desire to help children who were less fortunate than him, Stephen, with the help of his family, gave 15 backpacks filled with toys to children over the holiday season.
Today, the Stephen’s Backpacks Society aims to make a difference in the lives of over 3,000 underprivileged kids this winter. Since Stephen began his philanthropic mission, he’s been able to help more than 31,000 children in need across the province. In 2008, TransCanada was the first corporate sponsor to donate to Stephen’s Backpacks, and since then, has donated more than $35,000 and a fleet vehicle to support Stephen in his mission. The organization now receives support from more than 350 corporate sponsors.
“It was great to see our employees getting involved again this year,” says Andrea Jalbert, TransCanada’s vice-president, Community & Sustainability. “This is the second toy drive we’ve held at TransCanada and our employees are always very giving and supportive of this partnership.
“The toys will help fill backpacks for children who would otherwise not receive gifts during the holidays. Some of these donations are going to communities still recovering from the 2013 southern Alberta floods.”
Margaret Waterchief, an Elder from the still-rebuilding Siksika Nation, thanked TransCanada for the ongoing support through the Stephen’s Backpacks Society. “I can’t fully express how much we appreciate the gifts you give to our children,” said Waterchief.
TransCanada is proud to be a supporting partner with organizations and initiatives like the Stephen’s Backpacks Society that makes a positive difference in the communities where we live and work. For more information about our community investment activities, visit our Community Investment page on our website.