The Christmas Crew

Feeding families in need in Cape Breton

The Christmas Crew

Christmas Crew founders: Troy White, NSCC Marconi Campus plumbing instructor, and John White, Glace Bay High School faculty member

“Until you actually see the smiles on the children's faces—and parents’ faces—you can never really understand.” ~ NSCC Plumbing Instructor Troy White

Fast Fact

White’s students also get involved with the Christmas Crew’s important work. Year after year, they help sell tickets, contribute money, get donations for the auction, and even help deliver the groceries.

They may not look elfish, but the Christmas Crew—co-founded by veteran NSCC Marconi Campus Plumbing Instructor Troy White—has been spreading holiday cheer throughout Cape Breton for more than five years.

“As kids, we never had much—we just got by,” says Troy, who was raised alongside his three siblings in a single-parent household in Glace Bay. “Most of the people in the Christmas Crew didn’t either. Now that we can, we want to help families in need”

When it began, the Christmas Crew consisted of just Troy White and John White (no relation) a teacher at Glace Bay High, they asked friends and family to chip in a few dollars so they could purchase a meal for a few local families in need. “We basically got them a grocery order,” explains Troy. “We thought that then they wouldn't have to worry about a meal, they could simply enjoy the time.”

Today, the Christmas Crew is made up of 16 members core and hundreds of volunteers. Over the last five years, more than 1000 families have been helped by their generosity.  This year the Christmas Crew has set a goal of providing a meal to 300 families, but White thinks they can even surpass that lofty goal.

What it’s all about

“It’s not something I can explain,” says Troy about why he continues to do this work and the impact it has had on his life.

While delivering green beans, carrots and pop might seem mundane to some, for the children that welcome him at the door, he says they begin to holler to their parents in excitement about all that the bags contain. “Until you actually see the smiles on the children's faces—and parents’ faces—you can never really understand.”

Troy remembers receiving a call one year from one of his volunteers. She was crying.

“We were all done our deliveries,” says Troy. “She had been to a house that was freezing. No heat on. Very little furniture. It did have a tree up, but there were no gifts under it. She said she couldn’t come to the after-delivery gathering we were having; she was going to the mall to get presents to put under that tree.”

As he and the Christmas Crew work toward this year’s goal, Troy says it’s important for each of us to take the time to think of others, and not to judge. “We may have it all now, but it can change in a heartbeat. It just may be the generosity of others that gets us through.”

20/12/16

“Until you actually see the smiles on the children's faces—and parents’ faces—you can never really understand.” ~ NSCC Plumbing Instructor Troy White

Fast Fact

White’s students also get involved with the Christmas Crew’s important work. Year after year, they help sell tickets, contribute money, get donations for the auction, and even help deliver the groceries.

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