Travelling on the Holiday Train through the north-eastern US so soon after Super Storm Sandy is a humbling experience.
Since 1999 the Holiday Train has been working with communities to drive hunger awareness and support for those families who need that extra little bit of help to get through the season. This year, in the NEUS (North East US in railway lingo!) the need for help is greater than ever.
We’ve been meeting families who were without power for days, or went shopping for emergency supplies and found no water or generators left on the shelves, I even heard a story about a man who went out to his car one morning in the aftermath of the storm to find a note and $10 on his windshield to the effect of “Sorry, I had to siphon your tank to get gas to run my generator ”. In the crowd this evening, one of our team was approached by a family who have been displaced by the storm, who have had to leave their homes on the coast and travel inland to stay with family while they try to recoup their losses due to the storm. He wanted to say “Thank you” to CP for all the work they are doing to help with storm recovery efforts. The Holiday Train, our support of “Toys for Tots”, the $1M donation to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief and CP’s Feeding America initiative to match every dollar donated to food banks at the 57 American Holiday Train shows mean more than most of us can possibly understand to these families in need. And yet, despite everything, the Holiday Train is seeing the biggest crowds we ever have in these towns, donating money and food. These families and communities are pulling together, showing heart-warming fortitude and spirit as they move forward into the holiday season, supporting each other as good neighbors should.
Thinking about this after our last show tonight I realized that Canadian Pacific is not just running a really cool train or raising dollars for a cause. We are showing that our people are most important to us… we are showing that we appreciate our employees, our customers, our communities and that, above all, we want them to feel safe and know that there are companies out there who care enough to do something about it. CP is a good neighbor and I, for one, am proud to be part of their community.
Submitted by Katie Hill