They sang Christmas caroles as they formed a line from the school bus to Boyle Street Community Services, passing along what they call Backpacks of Luck.
Students from George H. Luck Elementary School, for the fourth time, brought backpacks full of toiletries, clothing, food, Christmas messages and coffee cards to those who need it most.
This year, though, they brought more than they ever have before.
“It never really feels like Christmas here at Boyle Street Community Centre until George H. Luck School comes,” said Julian Daly, executive director. “Every year, they bring more and more.”
This year, they brought 800 backpacks.
“It’s a nice thing to do for them because it warms their hearts,” said 10-year-old Ziyana Dhalla, heading into the centre at 101 Street and 105 Avenue with an armful. “And it feels good for us to help them.”
Principal Linda Inglis said the program got started four years ago when Hannah Taylor, a child who started the Ladybug Foundation for the homeless in Winnipeg, spoke to the school. “They thought, ‘If she can do something in Winnipeg, we can do something in Edmonton,’” she said.
The school is well known for giving back to the community and was even recognized by Today’s Parent magazine as the top outreach school in the country last fall.
The students also deliver Valentine’s Day cards to the centre. Other projects the students get involved with include Unicef and the Terry Fox Run. They also organized a series of fundraisers for those affected by the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year.
“They respond to needs,” said Inglis. “It’s really coming from them. They realize they have all these blessings.”
How to get involved with Boyle
Boyle Street Community Services is in the inner city, connecting those who live in poverty with what they need.
If you would like to volunteer with the program, you can bring over a vehicle to help move furniture and food, help with art class, join a Bingo crew or help raise funds.
If interested, contact the volunteer co-ordinator at 780-424-4106.