Social worker’s drive aims to warm up Ivujivik’s kids
People in south donate socks, pajamas
Socks, pyjamas and other warm winter wear will soon be on their way to Ivujivik, thanks to the efforts of an agency social worker from eastern Ontario, who is now working in Ivujivik.
“I thought this was something I could do,” said Stacey Gibeau, who has asked people living around Cornwall for donations of clothing which will keep children warmer in Ivujivik this winter.
Gibeau told Nunatsiaq News that she’s acting on her own as a mother— and not as a social worker— to do what she can to improve conditions in Ivujivik.
Since her recent return from Ivujivik, Gibeau has been soliciting donations of socks and pajamas and other clothing so that she can bring them with her when she returns to the community on September 6.
“Brand new socks, tights, leotards, socks, boys’ socks, girls’ socks, socks with pictures, I have them all,” said Gibeau.
Gibeau, a mother of three teenagers, said she loved putting her kids to sleep when they were younger and knowing they would be warm and cozy.
“You know what it’s like to put your kids in a nice pair of warm socks and some flannel pajamas and in winter and put them to bed. There’s nothing better,” she said.
But that’s not easy to do in Ivujivik, Gibeau found.
When trying to prepare a young child to be send out of the community, Gibeau went to the local co-op store and couldn’t find any socks.
“If you had a baby tomorrow, it would have to go naked unless you could get clothes from some one else,” she said.
The clothing available was also expensive. So it’s no wonder many go without, she said.
“I think every kid there could use some clothing. I’m there in a coat and jeans and freezing, and these kids are out there wearing crocs,” she said.
Gibeau occasionally had to remove a child from a home during the middle of the night and she couldn’t find any socks or pajamas at all for them to take along with them.
She said she always strives to make a child as comfortable as possible in these circumstances, “because it’s tragic to leave your home, so I tried to do my best.”
But finding a pair of socks and pajamas was next to near impossible, Gibeau said.
The expense of shipping the donated items from Cornwall to Ivujivik will be covered by Inuulitsivik’s youth protection office, she said.
After all the clothing is sorted, they’ll be distributed free to children in the community.