Oct. 12 marks Canadian Carrier Appreciation Day, a day to celebrate the critical role carriers play in bringing journalism to the doors of Canadians. Like any other newspaper, the Vernon Morning Star wouldn’t be able to operate without its dedicated early-birds.
Many Armstrong residents will have seen one or all of Kyle, Trista and Jenna Heidema along their streets as they do their paper routes. Their mother, Stacey Heidema, grew up on a dairy farm where she learned all about work ethic and responsibility.
“The kids have been raised to be super responsible and take on a lot of things inside the house and with their paper route,” she says. “It is a lot, but it’s great for the kids because they can save up and buy their own things and have that responsibility, and it’s nice knowing that they’re out getting exercise as opposed to playing on electronics.”
It’s a lot of work for Stacey, too, who helps her kids with their routes: “I usually have to drop off their papers halfway between the routes as I’m running to work.”
Kyle, 14, has been a Morning Star carrier for five years and now takes on three routes.
“It gets me up in the morning and it gives me some money to spend and save for college,” he said.
11-year-old Trista and 12-year-old Jenna, who often tackle routes together in the wee hours of the morning. “We usually finish delivering the papers at around 5:30 in the morning,” Trista said.
“I definitely get exercise,” said Jenna, “and learning the way of hard work.” Jenna spends around two to three hours dropping off papers between her three routes.
It’s the first job of many for the three Heidemas, and while her future career may be a long ways out, Jenna knows she wants to do “something that helps people,” and by helping her neighbourhood stay informed, she’s already ahead of the game.
The Heidemas are just three of the Morning Star’s 110 carriers who cover a total of 170 routes in the VErnon, Armstrong and Enderby area. If you see one today, give them a wave and a thank-you!