Students across the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District got into the spirit of giving this holiday season by putting on food drives, collecting donations for hampers, and making gifts by hand.
Environmental School students put together five Christmas hampers – three for Katzie families and two for seniors through a Maple Ridge community centre.
“It was amazing how many gift cards, toys and food were collected,” said principal Nicole McKenzie. “We are so grateful to our community for allowing us to play and learn in the many parks and forests. We love giving back to the community that we live in.”
Highland Park Elementary also helped put together hampers for families through the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society. The school was able to support seven families through donations.
“We were able to fulfill all the children’s wishes on their lists,” said principal Jennifer Walker.
Laity View Elementary’s Grade 7 leadership team collected items for Christmas hampers as well.
They organized and ran a warm toque, sock, glove, mitten and scarf drive and filled up three boxes with items. The donations were shared with Westview Secondary for their Christmas hampers and the remaining items went to the Beyond Hello project for those in need.
A Grade 6/7 class at Laity View also knit 85 hats to donate to the Beyond Hello project for those on the Downtown Eastside who could use a little extra warmth this winter.
Other schools held food drives during their annual winter concerts and holiday community events, including Pitt Meadows Elementary, Yennadon Elementary, Albion Elementary, and Eric Langton Elementary.
Yennadon Elementary raised more than $1,200 for the Friends in Need Food Bank during their winter concerts along with multiple boxes of food donation, and nearly $1,100 for the Children’s Hospital through a candy cane fundraiser.
In early December, Maple Ridge Secondary held its annual drive-thru food drive, raising more than $2,000 in cash donations and 778 food items for the Friends in Need Food Bank.
Meanwhile, Davie Jones Elementary held a school-wide fundraiser the week before winter break, called the “Five Days of Holiday Giving.”
On Monday, the school collected new/gently used gloves, hats and scarves for the Food for the Soul Project Society. On Tuesday, students and staff brought in non-perishable food items for the Friends in Need Food Bank. Wednesday was all about donating new toys, and Thursday saw collection of new/gently used socks. On Friday, Davie Jones raised money for the annual Coins for Kids campaign supporting the Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows Christmas Hamper Society.
Students across the district also spread cheer and joy by writing cards for members of the community.
Yennadon Elementary made holiday cards for the Royal Canadian Legion, the Maple Ridge Seniors Village and Greystone Manor, while Kanaka Creek Elementary students made holiday treat bags for Maple Ridge senior and treatment centres and the food bank.