Elise Therrien, Nanaimo District Secondary School student and lead for the Everybody Deserves a Smile project in Nanaimo, sorts mittens, socks and touques with fellow students on Dec. 11. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo students hope care packs bring smiles during holiday season

Everyone Deserves a Smile project provides care packages to those in need

Nanaimo students hope the care packages they helped assemble bring a smile to the faces of the less fortunate this holiday season.

The Everyone Deserves a Smile project sees items like toques, scarves, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mittens and socks collected, packaged in a painted bag and distributed to people experiencing homelessness. Nanaimo District Secondary School acted as a hub for the project this year and on Wednesday morning, leadership class students put together packages. According to Elise Therrien, Grade 12 student and Nanaimo project lead, it was a learning experience.

“I think mostly what we’re learning throughout this project is selflessness and compassion and giving back to others, especially during Christmas time, where I think it’s really important to make life easier for people who are in need and especially in Nanaimo where homelessness in a huge issue,” said Therrien. “I think it’s really important that our school is doing this to raise awareness about that issue.”

RELATED: NDSS students give back with Empty Bowl fundraiser

Therrien said a 400-gift pack goal was expected to be met and area charitable organizations were set to receive them Thursday and Friday.

“We have five different shelters in Nanaimo that we’re delivering to,” said Therrien. “Our biggest ones are the [Nanaimo 7-10 Club], which wanted about 180 bags, and the New Hope Centre, which wanted 150 bags.”

Samaritan House and Wesley Street supportive housing and Value Lodge motel were others receiving bags, Therrien said.

Geoff Steel, NDSS principal, said it is gratifying to see students teaming to give back to the community.

“There’s pride in the community service that our students are spearheading and it shows that they have a social conscience and they care about our community and NDSS, we’re named after Nanaimo, and we take that very seriously,” said Steel.

The original Everyone Deserves a Smile project began in Edmonton in 2003.


Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

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

Just Posted

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Community policing office’s closure will impact safety in the area

Strong police and bylaw presence needed in neighbourhood, say letter writers

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch in south Nanaimo

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by police after City of Nanaimo crew found it

RDN Transit to see rollout of 15 new HandyDart buses

Buses will have temporary protective barriers installed to prevent spread of COVID-19

RDN says water in French Creek still potable despite levels of iron, manganese

Strategy to improve water quality being established

United Way distributes $120,000 in federal funding to seniors in need during pandemic

Salvation Army, Eden Gardens, hospice society among groups granted money

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Beefs & Bouquets, May 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

Most Read