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

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)

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

Just Posted

Memorial for Travis Selje on 64th Avenue in Cloverdale, west of 176th Street. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Epilepsy-defence driver found not guilty in crash that killed Surrey teen Travis Selje

Accused testified she has no recollection of the crash and believes she had an epileptic seizure that caused the collision

A Mercedes SUV is covered at a gas station in the Clayton area following a deadly shooting there on Sept. 28, 2019. Carlos Monteith, the man charged in the Clayton shooting, was sentenced April 22 on charges related to a different shooting in New West in November, 2019. (File photo)
Man gets 6.5 years in prison for shooting as he awaits trial for separate Cloverdale slaying

Carlos Nathaniel Monteith sentenced for possessing a prohibited weapon and discharging a firearm with intent

(File photo)
Three young girls followed while walking home from school, Surrey police say

RCMP say suspect took off after girls went into nearby store for help

Black smoke rises above Highway 17 in Surrey on Thursday. (Fraser Valley Road Report Facebook)
Fire sends thick black smoke above Surrey industrial area

Firefighters say blaze burning just off of Tannery Road and Highway 17 in Surrey

It remains to be seen how tourism dollars announced this week will help in White Rock. (Sterling Cunningham file photo)
White Rock officials question if tourism relief will come soon enough

For business, budget ‘feels more like a placeholder,’ says chamber head

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

Firefighters carry equipment from the scene of Monday’s Willoughby fire. The April 19, 2021 blaze turned the Alexander Square development at the corner of 208th Street and 80th Avenue to rubble. (Rob Wilton/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Langley Fire: The aftermath of the inferno

The scene remains active as investigators work to determine a cause

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read