District Highlights

Maple Ridge Elementary class donates hundreds of socks to homeless

A Grade 4/5 class at Maple Ridge Elementary (MRE) has donated more than 200 new pairs of socks as part of a kindness project.

“I’m very proud of the students in my class and our whole school community – the kids, staff and families,” said teacher Marita Haavisto. “We are donating two large boxes of socks, which I hope will be helpful to those who need them.”

Haavisto’s class was able to collect 210 pairs of socks in only one month for the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries. They made posters and hung them up around the school, decorated their bulletin board with socks hanging from a clothesline, performed skits on the morning announcements and presented in MRE’s kindness assembly. Bulletin board decorated with socks hanging from a clothesline.

“It felt good to do something kind,” said Grade 4 student Jake.

The sock drive took place over February, often referred to as the “kindness month” by teachers in the lead up to Pink Shirt Day on the 28th.

“This is not going to help the homeless with their biggest problems, but maybe it will help a bit with their health, [and] make someone more comfortable,” said Daniel, who is in Grade 4.

Daniel is referring to a CBC News story the class read about in the Canadian Reader, a classroom teaching resource that includes current event news stories written at a level students can understand.

In this particular story, they learned about Mary Crosby, a woman in Halifax who has made it her mission to help those in need keep warm with dry socks.

The CBC News article notes healthcare professionals in Halifax have been dealing with several medical conditions relating to feet when treating people who are homeless, including athlete’s foot, fungal nails and trench foot, made worse by damp weather and a lack of access to clean, dry socks.

Socks in a pink box collected for donation.

With this in mind, the article continues, Crosby spends her time collecting and hand knitting thousands of pairs of socks for donation.

“And we thought, we can do that!” said Haavisto. “Linking it with February, the kindness month, was perfect timing.”

The students were excited to be able to help those in need, she added, and proud of how many socks they were able to collect by the end of the month.

“We heard from the Salvation Army that they are appreciative of our efforts and welcome as many sock drives as anyone can organize,” Haavisto said.

Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries is always accepting new and unopened socks, along with other goods and items listed on its website.

Bulletin board decorated with socks hanging from a clothesline.

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