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.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

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

City of Nanaimo reaches settlement with fired chief operations officer

Brad McRae had launched human rights complaint after being fired while on medical leave

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Only a comprehensive schedule will make train travel practical

Passenger train service won’t work if overnight stays required, says letter writer

Lacrosse season isn’t far off in Nanaimo

Nanaimo District Minor Lacrosse is eager to get players registered

RDN looking at upgrading or relocating Woodgrove transit exchange

Current bus loop at north Nanaimo mall at capacity, says staff report

Fashion Fridays: Look your best this year

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Beefs & Bouquets, Jan. 16

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

One last blast of winter tonight for parts of the Island before temperatures on the rise

A snowfall warning is in effect Friday including east Vancouver Island.

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

Most Read