Salish Secondary student Liana Hollmann sorts donated gifts during the school’s first toy drive on Dec. 6. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Salish Secondary toy drive brings in more than 200 toys

The toy drive could turn into an annual event, one of the students said

Thanks to the hard work of some Salish Secondary students, the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper program will be able to give out 200 more toys to needy families this winter.

In November, four leadership students in Michelle Young’s class decided to take on a toy drive to support the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper. The hamper program had run short on toys last year, and wanted to be able to offer more selection for families this season.

Grade 10 students Thanuri Egodawatta, Jared Romea and Aryan Verma, along with Grade 11 student Shana Nursoo volunteered to organize the toy drive. They had already been thinking about hosting a toy drive when hamper volunteer Jen Temple approached the school with the idea.

“When I presented [Temple’s request] to the class, we already had that small group of kids who were like ‘Yes, we want to do it,’” Young said. “They just ran with it.”

RELATED: Salish Secondary to host first-ever toy drive for Cloverdale Christmas Hamper

For Nursoo, taking on the project just made sense.

“It’s definitely worth it for the reason that it actually makes a difference,” she said.

She understood the impact that programs like the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper could have for families, as her family had used programs like it when they first immigrated to Canada. Being able to get toys at Christmas helped make the holidays extra special.

In the four weeks leading up to the toy drive, the students had to advertise in the school as well as liaise with Temple to get the word out to the community. They also had to organize student volunteers for the night, figure out what equipment was needed and make sure there were enough boxes to hold the toys.

Sometimes, the task seemed overwhelming.

“At first we were feeling discouraged because it was hard to send the message and hard to get students involved,” Nursoo said.

But eventually, the word started to get out online, on the radio, in the paper. And on Dec. 6 at 3:30 p.m., when Young’s leadership class waited in the cold outside the school for donations to come in, they weren’t disappointed.

Salish Secondary students from Michelle Young's (far right) leadership class at the school's first toy drive on Dec. 6. (Grace Kennedy photo

Over 200 toys were collected during the toy drive, and $1,500 in donations and gift cards came in. Members from the local RBC branch were on hand to help sort toys during the drive, and also donated an additional $1,000 to “help inspire the kids” who were putting on the drive, Temple said. Turkey’s Party Makers had a truck on site to deliver the collected toys, and United Way had come with hot chocolate for volunteers and donors.

“I think that was also important to the kids, to see that the community knew what we were doing here in the school, and they were standing there being cold with them,” Young said. “I was really impressed with that, and that made me quite happy.”

The drive didn’t end at 6 p.m., when the students finally went home. Another $600 in gift cards were brought to Pacific Community Church (which hosts the Cloverdale Christmas Hamper) after the drive ended.

“Maybe they didn’t get out to us during those three hours, but it inspired them to bring in $600 for the event after the fact,” Young said. “I quite liked that, that we inspired the community to think about this and to sort of plan to donate.”

Both Temple and Young said they were “so proud” of the students who worked to put the drive together.

“They were just the most amazing … young people,” Temple said. “They were excited and enthusiastic and it was an honour to be able to work with them, it really was.”

Young agreed.

“It wasn’t just that they did it and they got through it,” she said. “They felt like they had accomplished something. And that’s the feeling that I hope they take away from all of these events: that it’s worthwhile and they have power to do these things and make a difference.”

And as for next year?

“This is definitely something we should continue with,” Verma, one of the leadership students, said. “Especially considering that our school is still new and we’re trying to develop a culture.”



grace.kennedy@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Salish Secondary teacher Michelle Young talking to Cloverdale Christmas Hamper director Matthew Campbell. (Grace Kennedy photo)

Just Posted

Delta launches online engagement portal

“Let’s Talk Delta” offers variety of feedback methods including surveys, polls, forums and Q&A boards

Story of ‘A Mother’s Journey to Adoption’ told in book by first-time Surrey author

In the 1990s, Raj Arneja and husband Gurpreet adopted two children in India

Heritage rail to remain closed for both July and August

Fraser Valley Heritage Rail Society may open Cloverdale Station in September

Surrey council to consider a $150 FOI fee for attendance requests at city facilities

This is expected to come before council during tonight’s council meeting, on Monday July 13.

Proposed White Rock development a ‘nightmare’ for Elm Street neighbours

Density, traffic, loss of views among chief concerns of residents

B.C. records 62 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths since Friday

Province has just over 200 active cases

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

COVID-19 exposure on Vancouver flight

The Air Canada 8421 flight travelled from Kelowna to Vancouver on July 6

Double homicide investigation leads Vancouver police to Chilliwack

A VPD forensics unit was in Chilliwack Saturday collecting evidence connected to East Van murders

VIDEO: Former Abbotsford resident giving away $1,000

Langley native Alex Johnson creates elaborate treasure hunt to give away cash

Tree planters get help with COVID-19 protective measures

Ottawa funds extra transportation, sanitizing for crews

UPDATE: Abbotsford shooting victim was alleged ‘crime boss,’ according to court documents

Jazzy Sran, 43, was believed to have been smuggling cocaine across the border

Most Read