Emma Simard-Proveneal, left, Colton Van Der Minne, Clare Shuley and Adwoa Mensah-Agyekum, members of the NDSS student council global committee, are collecting donations for care packages that will go to the city’s homeless this holiday season. TAMARA CUNNINGHAM/News Bulletin

NDSS students on mission to spread smiles

Donations for care packages to city’s homeless collected at school until Dec. 8

Nanaimo District Secondary students want to bring smiles to the city’s homeless this holiday season.

Members of the student council global committee have joined forces with the non-profit Everybody Deserves a Smile to build 150 care packages for Nanaimo’s homeless in time for the holidays and they’re looking for community donations.

It’s the third year NDSS students have lent a hand to the smile charity by collecting donations of new socks, toques, gloves and mitts, scarves, toothbrushes and toothpaste, creating cards and hand-painting bags.

This year, for the first time, students will also help prepare care packages and bring them to local shelters.

“So we are going to be part of the process from beginning to end,” said Colton Van Der Minne, 17, head of the global committee, who likes the project because it’s a “simple way for people to give to their community and at such an important time of the year.”

Fellow committee member Adwoa Mensah-Agyekum, 15, said the project creates awareness about the holidays and reminds people that not everyone will get something and not everyone is going to a house with food and Clare Shuley, 17, said it takes time but isn’t hard to do and if 150 people can be made happier at Christmas, why not?

New donations are being collected by the committee so it’s like a gift, according to Emma Simard-Proveneal, 17.

“Everything that they’re usually getting is second hand, to have something that is actually only yours … it’s better,” she said.

The holiday effort, to bring handmade care packages to the homeless, happens across Vancouver Island including Nanaimo, where EDAS hopes to hand out 500 bags this year.

Other Nanaimo schools also participate.

Rebecca Hill, Nanaimo project manager of EDAS, says it’s a true community project, with love and compassion at the centre of it. It’s also an empowering experience for young people who are developing leadership skills.

NDSS students’ goal of 150 bags is a “really huge help,” she said. “Although we have donations boxes all over the city, it’s a challenge to get all those items.”

People can bring donations to the NDSS office by Dec. 8.

People can also donate items and cash to EDAS through drop boxes at Steve Marshall Ford, Mon Petit Choux and Rainbow International Restoration.

Packages will be delivered Dec. 16.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Best of the City: This year’s winners

Nanaimo News Bulletin presents full results of our 2020 Best of the City readers’ survey

Nanaimo under a thunderstorm watch tonight

Environment Canada forecasts downpour and possible thunder and lightning

B.C. Greens hurrying to get candidates in place for provincial election

No candidates announced yet in Nanaimo, Nanaimo-North Cowichan or Parksville-Qualicum

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

Masks and temperature checks now mandatory to enter Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre

Mall says it’s the first in B.C. to put the measures in place

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site at Duke Point

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

Snuneymuxw, province sign land transfer agreement that includes parts of Mount Benson

First Nation sees economic development opportunities through forestry partnerships

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Most Read