Comox Valley students support teacher by donating to BC Children’s Hospital

A heart-warming tale of charity and goodwill has emerged from the “big, bad front page stories” from an ongoing BCTF labour dispute.

TEACHER MYRA WILSON is 'awestruck' by a donation her class made to BC Children's Hospital.

TEACHER MYRA WILSON is 'awestruck' by a donation her class made to BC Children's Hospital.

A heart-warming tale of charity and goodwill has recently emerged from the profusion of “big, bad front page stories” an ongoing BCTF labour dispute has spawned, says SD71 teacher Myra Wilson.

When workplace negotiations prompted B.C. school districts to withdraw from extracurricular activities, Wilson and her Grade 5/6 class at Aspen Park Elementary were forced to abandon plans for a multi-day trip to Victoria’s legislature buildings.

What her students have done with the money reserved for the cancelled outing has left Wilson awestruck.

“My co-workers and I were all so nervous about telling our students that trips had been cancelled,” admits Wilson, “but it’s turned into so many other great things.”

Once the cancellation was announced, a portion of the money students had raised towards the excursion was reserved for a day trip to Parksville; the fate of the remaining $500 — accrued through the sale of fun-shaped pasta, coffee and lollipops — was decided by class vote.

After talk of donating the remaining funds to a local charity, Wilson says her class proposed Children’s Hospital “all on their own.”

“Somebody shouted out Children’s Hospital,” says student Jade Potts, “and then we all agreed to it because all of our class knows that Ms. Wilson’s daughter goes to Children’s Hospital.”

Wilson, her husband, and their daughter Lauren have been in and out of Children’s Hospital since October when the three-year-old was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

The condition, which affects one in 1,000 children under the age of 16, causes persistent join pain, stiffness and swelling. Wilson says the resultant limp Lauren developed “slowly got worse” until she could hardly walk.

“We stopped going to the park because it just too depressing for her, being unable to climb and play.”

But Wilson insists her family has been lucky — “the medical community here is so great.”

A speedy diagnosis, ongoing local support, and specialist care at B.C. Children’s Hospital have led Lauren into complete remission.

“She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t run, she couldn’t jump,” says Aspen Park student Abby Buckley.  “But now because of B.C. Children’s Hospital she can do all that stuff.”

The class’s decision to support the charity came just days before B.C. Children’s Hospital’s annual Miracle Weekend. During the 11-hour telethon, Overwaitea pledged to double the funds her class had donated.

“I was so touched,” says Wilson of her students’ generosity. “To know 11-and 12-year-olds are thinking that way is really inspiring.  It’s been hard for teachers to have to cancel these trips, but we’re pleased to see such positive alternative activities planned.”

The class’s compassion has been contagious; another Aspen Park class is already proposing a donation to the Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) in Courtenay.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering of the Denman Green plans for the Kirk Road site. Image, DHA/Ronan Design
Denman Green finds new site for housing

Facing COVID delays, the project reached expiration date on initial site

A fawn stands in a field. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
MARS hoping to build fawn complex for rehab

Their goal is to raise $20,000 in a relatively short period of time.

Aspen Park in Comox is the latest school reporting a COVID-19 exposure. Screenshot, Google Maps
Fifth Comox Valley school reports COVID-19 exposure

Exposure at Aspen Park in Comox was reported for Feb. 22

Cumberland Brewery is looking to expand its patio space temporarily for the summer. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland Brewery looks for temporary patio expansion

Move would allow business to spread customers outside in summer months

School District 71’s final budget for this school year showed more revenue from distance learning students but less from traditional classroom registration. Record file photo
Comox Valley Schools’ budget grant almost $5.5 million higher than planned

Increase came from a boost in distributed learning rather traditional registration

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Most Read