Students from Huband Park Elementary in Courtenay stole the hearts of the Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (Habitat VIN) team this Valentine’s season.
Myra Wilson’s Grade 4/5 class and Bobbi Carter’s Grade 5 class raised $1,254.50 towards safe and affordable housing with their ‘Candy Gram’ Valentine’s Day fundraiser.
It all began last year when Wilson’s class got involved in Habitat for Humanity’s Meaning of Home contest. The contest encourages grades 4, 5 and 6 students across Canada to write a poem or essay about what home means to them to help raise money for local Habitat build projects. This inspired the students to hold their first Candy Gram sale where they raised $1,001 for Habitat.
“After writing about what makes their own home special, they were inspired to help local families who don’t have the security of a safe home. Also, the students remembered the success of the fundraiser last year and were keen to do it again,” Wilson said.
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This year, they were able to raise even more funds by involving other students and the community.
Wilson recalled her trip to purchase chocolates at Crown Isle Thrifty Foods, saying, “The staff remembered hearing about the fundraiser last year and offered to help. Several staff members helped me count out all the chocolates and the manager offered a discount.”
Carter’s class, who also participated in the Meaning of Home contest, joined Wilson’s class this year to help sell, collect, sort and distribute nearly 1,700 Candy Grams.
“It is inspiring to see students this age taking on leadership roles and feeling excited about helping others,” said Wilson. “These are school experiences that they’ll remember, and hopefully it will encourage them to find more ways to give back to the community in the future.”
In addition to the donation made through this fundraiser, the two classes were able to raise an additional $450 by participating in the Meaning of Home contest. Each contest entry results in a $10 donation towards local Habitat construction projects.
“It’s fantastic to see students and teachers so engaged in their community and willing to step up to make a real difference,” said Jeff West, Habitat VIN’s executive director. “The Habitat team and future homeowners are very grateful for the students’ efforts.”
The money raised by these students will go towards Habitat VIN’s upcoming project on 1375 Piercy Rd. in Courtenay, which will provide homes for 12 local families. Construction is expected to begin later this spring. To learn more about how you can support Habitat VIN, visit habitatnorthisland.com.