Students from two North Delta high schools lend a helping hand in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

On Dec. 12, students from Sands and Burnsview Secondary secondary schools set up shop in front of Insite to hand out clothes and food.

Students from Sands Secondary helped hand out food and clothing in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside on Dec. 12.

Students from two North Delta high schools visited Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) to help out some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.

On the morning of Dec. 12, students from Sands and Burnsview Secondary secondary schools set up shop on the corner of East Hastings and Main Street in front of Insite, the supervised injection site, where they handed out scarves, blankets, socks and clothing to those in need.

Paul Singh, child and youth care worker at Sands, oversaw what his students accomplished by partnering with his counterpart at Burnsview, Curtis Miller, who had started making the trip years prior.

“I, of course, love the idea of it, so I said, ‘Alright, let me get some of my kids [and] we’ll try to put together a bunch of clothes as well and join you guys,’” Singh said.

The students also provided peanut butter and jelly sandwiches along with cups of hot chocolate for anyone who came by their stand during the three hours it was open.

Singh said many of his students came back from the trip with a new understanding of people on the DTES and the struggles they face.

“We asked them, ‘Hey, what did you remember? What did you take back? What came up for you?’ [And] we got answers like, ‘Wow, a lot of people are in need. People are so thankful for the stuff they were getting,’” he said.

The trip was such a success that Miller and Singh are already planning a similar event for next year.