Comox Valley students helping needy through ‘very moving program’

Students at a Courtenay school are not only filling bags to help those less-fortunate, but handing them out as well.

From the Comox Valley to Victoria, students at Ḗcole Puntledge Park Elementary in Courtenay are not only filling bags to help those less-fortunate, but handing them out as well.

Students from kindergarten to Grade 7 surpassed their goal of creating 600 bags filled with donations of sockets, scarves, toiletries and more for those living in shelters and on the streets of Vancouver Island.

“It’s a very moving program,” explained Kevin Reimer, principal of the school, which works in conjunction with the non-profit group Everybody Deserves A Smile.

“For our kindergarden kids, it’s about them making to want someone’s Christmas brighter, and for our older kids in Grade 7, you can go a bit deeper and talk about the larger issue of homelessness.”

Last year was the first year of the Christmas Gift Bag project, and students created 542 bags. About 300 bags were given to people in the Comox Valley, with the remainder donated to homeless individuals in Nanaimo and Victoria.

This year, Reimer said rather than just have students fill the bags, he took 10 students to Nanaimo and Victoria Monday to hand them out at two shelters.

“It was a really interesting learning experience,” he noted, and added by having students hand out some of the bags, it allowed them to have another connection to each community.

Chantal Stefan, a former Puntledge student teacher and founder of EDAS, came up with the project idea.

“Chantal prepped (the students) really well. They were a bit nervous at the shelters but only for a few minutes. The anxiety only lasted for a few minutes when they saw they were just regular people,” added Reimer.

“I’m so proud of the kids. They really connected with everyone. It was a really powerful moment.”

Reimer credits the generosity of the community, as nearly 100 per cent of the items inside the hand-painted bags were dropped off by both parents and members of the community.

“We were flooded with donations … many people dropped off items with no connection to the school at all. One woman walked in and dropped off 200 scarves,” he said.

As it is “a big part of the school’s culture,” Reimer added they plan on expanding the program next year.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Comox Valley Schools to see trustee shakeup next fall

Four of seven trustees have stated they will not run for re-election in October

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Merville water bottling proposal heading to public hearing

A contentious business proposal in Merville will be going to a public… Continue reading

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Fish farm protest held in Comox

The rally took place on Comox Avenue, concluding at the entry to the BC Seafood Festival

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

North Island College gets $328,000 for forestry education funding

Announcement in Campbell River part of $1 million around B.C.

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

Most Read