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'Tis the Season to be Generous

December 9th 2021

Leadership students gain valuable skills through giving campaigns

Generosity is the cornerstone of the holiday season, and some SD8 students are learning how important giving can be at this time of year, especially for those without a home or food security, or for those living with trauma.

In Nelson, the Wildflower Grade 5-6 Student Leadership Team has recently experienced just how broad and deep the community spirit of generosity can extend at this time of year. Together with educational assistant Kim Laybourne, this group of students from Kirsten Johnson’s classroom have organized an online auction to fundraise for Residential School survivors.

Students brainstormed, scripted and planned most aspects of the fundraising campaign themselves, which included approaching local businesses for donations of gift certificates, handicrafts and other new products or services that could become part of the auction.

“I was pretty nervous at first,” shared Wildflower student Elena, “But now I feel proud that we could raise money for an important cause. I would definitely do it again!”

In four separate outings, the student group managed to collect over $750 in gift cards and more than 40 individual items, all while gaining self-confidence and developing valuable communication and leadership skills through the process. The students are also witnessing incredible demonstrations of empathy and generosity from their local community members.

“One individual approached us right on the street, curious what the students were doing,” said educational assistant Kim Laybourne, “He gave them a cash donation right then and there. The students were blown away!”

The Wildflower Leadership Online Auction is now live as a Facebook group and will close Monday December 13th at 8 pm. To bid: https://www.facebook.com/groups/697663497805980/

All funds will be donated to the Blood of Life Collective, a local Sinixt group and to the Indian Residential School Survivor Society.

Meanwhile out in the Slocan Valley, the Winlaw Student Leadership team has been busy decorating Winter Holiday boxes for each classroom to collect food donations this month. This annual giving campaign promotes the spirit of generosity, but also is an opportunity to teach students about the larger concept of hunger and food scarcity in their community.

All food collected by the students will be donated to the Slocan Valley Food Cupboard to contribute to their Holiday Hamper program, which is sponsored annually through the W.E. Graham Community Services Society. Student leaders have also been holding weekly popcorn sales to raise money to purchase gifts for the hampers.

“We are very proud of their enthusiastic commitment and community service” said Winlaw Principal Monica Doyle.

Several schools throughout the district are also collecting holiday gift and food donations for Holiday hampers. Parents are encouraged to inquire with your school directly for more information.