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Nanaimo students trying to provide warmth and holiday smiles

Warm clothes being sought for Everybody Deserves a Smile charity campaign
Charlotte Favre, a student at Nanaimo District Secondary School, is one of the local organizers of the Everybody Deserves a Smile charity drive to provide warm clothes, toiletries and Christmas cards to those in need. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo students feel like ‘Everybody Deserves a Smile,’ and so they’re doing their part to try to make that happen this holiday season.

École Hammond Bay, Nanaimo District Secondary School and other local schools are taking the lead in the annual charity drive that collects warm clothing, toiletries and Christmas cards for people who are experiencing homelessness or others in need in the community. Students hand-make cards and decorate bags to fill with items.

“Everybody Deserves a Smile aims to educate and create with local students and their communities in a heartfelt, homemade way to compassionately reach out to those in need at Christmas,” noted an event press release.

The campaign is in need of tuques, mittens, scarves and socks for women, men and non-binary charity recipients, as well as toothbrushes, soap, and cash donations. Cheques can be made out to EDAS or Everybody Deserves a Smile, and e-transfers can be made to

Donation drop-off locations are École Hammond Bay, Fairview Elementary School, North Oyster Elementary, NDSS, Nanaimo Crossfit and Nanaimo Alliance Church. Brechin Elementary, Cinnabar Valley Elementary and Aspengrove School are also participating but are not listed as donation drop-off locations.

“For young students to be able to see how it affects the community and how they are also a part of this community, it helps [them see] how they can give back,” said Charlotte Favre, a Grade 12 student at NDSS. “It can positively impact the community and help us bring help and joy to everyone.”

The bags will be packed Dec. 13 and distribution is expected to start the day after that.

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