Grade 1 student Huxley MacGregor and Grade 7 student Riley Antrim-Shoquist show off their learning projects related to homelessness as part of Fairview Elementary School’s Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign. (Photo submitted)

Grade 1 student Huxley MacGregor and Grade 7 student Riley Antrim-Shoquist show off their learning projects related to homelessness as part of Fairview Elementary School’s Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign. (Photo submitted)

Nanaimo students know Everybody Deserves a Smile as they work on campaign of compassion

Nanaimo students create cards, envelopes and awareness

This holiday season, Nanaimo students are keeping in mind that Everybody Deserves a Smile.

The charity campaign is being held at eight schools around the district this year, according to a press release.

As part of the campaign, children decorate envelopes and create hand-made cards “and write caring messages to people who can really benefit from heartfelt youth engagement.”

The cards will be given to people experiencing homelessness along with items meant to “lift spirits, provide necessities, and show compassion” such as wool socks, tuques, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, hand sanitizer and sugar cookies.

Christina Renneberg, a Grade 2 teacher at Fairview Elementary School, is co-ordinating local efforts and anticipates that the cards and items will go to 600 people with the help of 13 partner agencies. Another 1,650 care packages are being distributed in the Comox Valley, Campbell River and Powell River.

Grade 7 student Riley Antrim-Shoquist said she likes the idea of making people smile and doing important community work which she said is much-needed. She set up a display in the Fairview school library to draw attention to books that raise awareness about social issues.

“I used to see the homeless people down at the waterfront and worry about how the park looked. My thinking has changed,” Antrim-Shoquist said in the release. “Now I see the effort many of these people are making just to survive each day and I think about how a smile might help them. I really pay attention to this topic now.”

Everybody Deserves a Smile Nanaimo noted that in consideration of COVID-19 precautions, it would prefer cash contributions to donated garments. Organizers are hoping to raise $7,000 for the bulk purchase of socks, tuques, personal care products and cookies. They invite donors to pass along their own messages in the memo of cheques or in the message box of e-transfers. To contribute, mail a cheque to Everybody Deserves a Smile, 1168A Joshua Place, Courtenay, B.C., V9N 8Y6, specifying ‘Nanaimo’ in the memo of the cheque. Alternatively, e-transfers can be sent to edas.nanaimo@gmail.com.

For more information, visit http://edas.ca/project/nanaimo.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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