Ryan Reynolds helps send parkas to Nunavut school in need of winter wear

By Vrunda Bhatt, with files from Zach Harper

Canadian superstar Ryan Reynolds is known for his incredible generosity, and he's showcasing that once again this week.

The Deadpool star has partnered with Canada Goose to donate parkas and Baffin footwear to more than 300 students at Inuujaq School in the Inuit community of Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay) in Nunavut.

"It came to my attention that students were going without adequate winter clothing," Ryan said in a statement. "Of course, it highlights a larger issue of basic needs going unmet in Canada's northern communities.

"I reached out to Canada Goose to match me in providing these students with essential winter gear. They not only said yes in under 30 seconds, but went so far above and beyond matching me. I'm deeply inspired and grateful."

Arctic Bay is one of the smallest northern hamlets in Nunavut. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused myriad issues for people, and Canada’s north has been heavily affected by shutdowns. Shipments of winter wear and other necessities the community relies upon to meet people’s basic needs have been halted due to the pandemic.

Ikpiarjuk has a population of about 900 people, according to the 2016 census. Photo: © Kanus/ullstein bild via Getty Images

"Living in a northern community, access to almost everything is limited," Innujag School principal Gregg Durant said. "This has been accentuated by the impact of COVID-19.

“We are so appreciative of the warmth Ryan and Canada Goose have shown our students, their gift will be remembered for years to come,” he added.

"Our mission is to promote the skills, confidence and cultural pride in our students so they can pursue their dreams, realize their ambitions, become life-long learners and contribute to their community."

Canada Goose has also announced it will expand its Resource Centre Program in cooperation with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, which is the largest Inuit organization in Canada. Through the initiative, Canada goose will donate repurposed parkas to four regions in Nunavut. The company has previously donated more than one million metres of material to help communities in the north make their own parkas.

"Inuit have survived since time immemorial crafting clothing from materials found in our environment," ITK president Natan Obed said in a statement. "But we know that not all families have access to handmade or traditionally made parkas. This initiative will support those in our communities who need it most."

Earlier this year, Ryan worked with Canadian hockey superstar Hayley Wickenheiser to send personal protective equipment to front line emergency workers, health care workers, nurses and doctors during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Last month, he also said he will dedicate a portion of his salary from his upcoming Netflix production to hiring BIPOC crew members.

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