Canadian Pacific announced it will donate $1 million to assist with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The donation will include $250,000 to the American Red Cross; $250,000 to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City; and $250,000 to New Jersey Governor Christie’s Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.
“On behalf of the men and women of Canadian Pacific, we hope our railroad’s contribution will help in the rebuilding effort that continues in the aftermath of this horrific storm,” said E. Hunter Harrison, President and Chief Executive Officer of Canadian Pacific. “We sincerely hope all those affected will be able to return to their normal lives as soon as possible.”
In addition to the immediate monetary donations, Canadian Pacific also encourages Americans who attend free Holiday Train events across CP’s U.S. rail network between November 28th and December 16th to give generously to their local food shelves. At each event, corporate and community donations made to each local food bank will be matched by CP. The matching donation, up to $250,000, will be provided to Feeding America whose member food banks are continuing to provide food and other supplies to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Feeding America also provides specialized disaster training for its food banks around the country, ensuring a prepared network and seamless disaster response.
“Basic food supplies are in urgent need for those impacted by Sandy and unfortunately continue to be needed in other communities across the U.S.,” said Harrison. “CP and its employees believe that dedicating this year’s Holiday Train to the spirit of neighbours supporting neighbours applies directly to disasters such as the one we have just experienced. Through our U.S. Holiday Train we can help generate much-needed awareness for continued Hurricane Sandy relief, while, at the same time, support local food pantries that are visited annually by our train of lights,” added Harrison.
To support the fight against hunger in local communities across North America, Canadian Pacific has aligned itself with a number of organizations in the communities in which the Holiday Train stops to raise food, money and awareness.
The U.S. Holiday Train, which launches at the end of November in Pennsylvania and New York, will visit 57 U.S. communities as it traverses Westward through the U.S. Midwest.
The CP Holiday Train program is comprised of two brightly-decorated freight trains that travel across the United States and Canada raising money, food and awareness for local food shelves. Each train features entertainers who perform a free live show from a boxcar that has been converted into a stage. Since 1999, the Holiday Train program has raised close to C$6.4 million and about 2.6 million pounds of food for North American food shelves
The Canadian Holiday Train will embark on its three-week journey on November 28 from Beaconsfield, Quebec, finishing up in Port Moody, B.C., on December 17.
The Canadian and U.S. Holiday Trains work closely with food banks, shelves, pantries, neighborhood services and charitable organizations to understand specific needs and target reach. It then contributes to, collects, and disburses food and monetary donations to those organizations.
In addition to working with over 70 food related community organizations across Canada and the U.S., CP supports Meal Exchange, a student-founded and student-driven registered charity that helps young Canadians, and now Americans, realize their potential to improve the future of their communities by providing them with meaningful opportunities to reduce local hunger today. Meal Exchange offers students in Canada and the U.S. at a network of 75 universities and colleges three fun, simple and creative programs including: Trick or Eat®, Skip-A-Meal® and Clear the Shelves!® as well supporting other initiatives to address local hunger. At their Trick or Eat® campaign, costumed youths collect donations of non-perishable food items and thank donors with a reminder that the Holiday Train will be stopping in a community near them soon.
Entertainers on the Canadian train include Doc Walker, Miss Emily, and the Brothers Dube.
Holiday Train schedules are available at http://www.cpr.ca/en/in-your-community/holiday-train/schedule/Pages/default.aspx