Devon Gardens Elementary students collect more than 1000 items for Surrey Food Bank

Students read daily school-wide announcements over the P.A., made/distributed posters and went class to class every day picking up donations

Mme. Xiang’s Grade 5 French immersion class at Devon Gardens Elementary.

Amidst the hustle and bustle of Christmas concerts, report cards, field trips and end-of-term, Devon Gardens Elementary led a very successful food drive. With the goal of helping local families in need this holiday season, the school came together to collect 1,150 items for the Surrey Food Bank, nearly tripling the school’s initial goal of 400.

This project was led by Grade 5 students Bryce Torres, Erica Shiu, Kirra Trites and Priesha Sharma from Sophia Xiang’s French immersion class. These dedicated students were responsible for reading daily school-wide announcements over the P.A., making and distributing posters, and going from class to class every day to pick up donations and to speak about their cause.

Thanks to the generosity of Devon Gardens families, as well as the giving spirit of our neighbourhood, our community came together beautifully to support those in need.

Below is an excerpt of an interview with Bryce, Erica and Kirra.

Sophia Xiang: Congratulations on such a successful food drive! How do you feel about how it worked out?

Kirra Trites: The Christmas concert helped a lot. We collected donations at the concert so we couldn’t have done it without help from our community.

Erica Shiu: I was really happy because we got way more than we expected to get. We got almost triple what we wanted. The whole school really helped us to reach and exceed our goal of 400 items.

Bryce Torres: I was really surprised that people cared that much about the homeless and our community.

KT: I was happy that the people in our school helped us reach 1,150 items.

BT: It was really fun to organize the cans, and to get excited about how many donations people would bring every day.

KT: It was nerve-wracking because at first, I didn’t know if people were going to bring items or not, but we got really excited when people started bringing in lots of food.

SX: What inspired you to organize the food bank project in the first place?

KT: To help people who don’t have enough this holiday season, so that they can be warm.

BT: So that people who don’t have enough money can have a happy holiday season. A few years ago, my family put together 100 bags of toothbrushes, instant noodles, toques, and gloves and we handed them out to people who were on the streets in Downtown Vancouver. I felt bad for the people, especially a lady that was pregnant with a baby.

SX: What kind of advice would you give to other children that would love to make a difference in their community?

BT: Don’t be afraid!

KT: Don’t think that it’s just adults that can help out.

ES: Do it with your friends. Don’t do it alone.

SX: What did this food bank project teach you?

ES: That people are a lot more generous than you think that they are.

KT: If you can think it, it can happen.

BT: It might be hard, especially at the beginning, but it really helps your community.