People were likely surprised to see RCMP officers knocking on their doors Dec. 23.
The police were distributing Christmas hampers to families in Natuashish, Makkovik, Hopedale and Nain as part of an annual Christmas cheer video put together by RCMP Const. Bryan Vaughn.
He said when they first went to homes in Natuashish to present the hampers, people didn’t seem to know what to do.
“It seemed to be genuine shock,” he said. “They aren’t used to this type of interaction with the police, they didn’t seem to understand why it was happening, but once they realized they were getting a box of food and a turkey they really expressed their gratitude.”
Vaughn said they distributed 40 hampers in the four communities, 10 for each municipality. They are hoping to do a similar event for Thanksgiving.
The officer noted this is his third year making the Christmas cheer videos, but the last two times were at his previous posting in Bay Roberts. Last year he partnered with Mary Browns and gave away televisions and video game systems and the year before that he gave out supermarket gift cards. Both times it was rewarding drivers for following the rules of the roads.
Vaughn was transferred to Natuashish in 2018. He wanted to keep the initiative going.
He had approached Atlantic Grocery Distribution, who provided the hampers, to do the video in Bay Roberts and when he was transferred to Natuashish they wanted to do it in Makkovik, Nain and Hopedale as well, since they supply food for those communities as well.
“I reached out to the other detachments and they arranged for the hampers to be picked up and delivered there as well,” he said. “They were more than happy to help.”
Vaughn said in his opinion this initiative helps with community relations, something he’s been working on since he went to Natuashish.
“People told me it would be hard to do what I do in Natuashish,” he said. “Everyone knows I’m community-minded and the kind of stuff I like to do. But people loved the idea of the video and the hampers and they should stay tuned for our next project up here.”