The Grade 2s at Evergreen School were looking for a meaningful way to help the less fortunate children in their community this past holiday season. “We wanted kids that don’t get things to get what they need,” commented Aliya, one of our students. After some discussion, the students and their teachers were inspired to help homeless children and chose to partner with Stephen’s Backpack Society to do so. They set an ambitious goal of raising $1,200 to fill 50 backpacks full of some essential materials. “It’s about giving people that don’t have homes stuff they need,” explained Daniel.
The students shared their vision with the rest of the school by making posters and announcements advertising a used book & toy sale with all the money raised going to Stephen’s Backpacks. Our community got behind the initiative and students from all grades began bringing in gently used toys and books to support the cause. The used toy and book sale was a huge success and raised $800 for Stephen’s Backpacks, but the students were $400 short of their goal. The students and teachers absorbed this temporary set-back and discussed how they could make up the difference. In the end they decided to ask each student at Evergreen to bring a $1 donation to help and within the week they had realized their goal.
Aliya reflected, “It made me proud that I was helping and I hope the kids that get the backpacks know that we care about them.” “I like helping people” Daniel expressed, “and my favorite part was that we gave people what they need.”
We are proud of our learning community’s resilience, compassion and action in seeing the opportunities around them to bring help and hope to those in need.
Since the completion of the project, the backpacks have been prominently displayed in our Gathering Area beside our Food Bank items as examples of how our collective efforts can make a difference in our communities. Just before the break, Stephen himself of Stephen’s Backpack Society arrived with a crew to pick up the backpacks that bear his name and carry on his legacy of giving and hope.