By Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Sun
Eager to give back to the community, Coquitlam teacher Kristi Blakeway’s students came to her in 2009 proposing to do something for people in the Downtown Eastside.
At the time, The Province was running a series called Operation Phoenix, which dug into issues in the impoverished neighbourhood and went on to win a National Newspaper Award for special projects.
“Just before we went to the Downtown Eastside, planning to give out food and clothing like everybody else, there was a series that was running in The Province and it talked about how many service organizations were doing that and was it helping or not,” Blakeway, now a principal in Maple Ridge, said. “I realized our idea wasn’t unique, that we really wouldn’t be meeting an unmet need, so I cancelled the field trip for my students.