Grade 6 students fundraise care packages for Edmonton’s most vulnerable

In the final days before winter break, Grade 6 students in Edmonton were busy with more than just schoolwork.

St. Anne Catholic Elementary School students have been making care packages for Edmontonians in need.

They are filled with items like deodorant, toothpaste, underwear and food.

“I think it brought us all together [at school]… because we did it together,” Grace Frunchak said.

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Students held a fundraiser to raise money to purchase materials for the packages, selling customized masks that the students designed.

Some of the care packages put together by St. Anne students
Some of the care packages put together by St. Anne students. Courtesy: Jill Johansen

“We wanted a mask that would be exclusive, one that you couldn’t buy at a store,” Paris Delorme said. “So we made one that says ‘St. Anne’ on it and it also says ‘Small school with a big heart.’”

Read more: Fort Saskatchewan students collect socks, snacks for vulnerable community members

Grade 6 teacher Jill Johansen said the students sold 150 masks to the student body.

Jill Johansen poses with students
Jill Johansen poses with students. Courtesy: Jill Johansen

The school received funding from the Dentons Make Your Mark on Poverty initiative, which provides schools with an opportunity to access grants and take action against poverty in their city.

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Last year, the United Way‘s funded programs helped more than 250,000 people facing poverty.

“A lot of the kids realized poverty was increasing during the COVID-19 pandemic and people not working. It was a really fitting time for [this project,” Johansen said.

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The kids also learned about the varying circumstances people living in poverty experience.

“It means not having enough food for your family, not having a good environment at home, not being able to afford your basic needs,” Delorme said.

“[I think our packages] are going to mean a lot. I think they will [know] someone loves them and that they are cared for.”

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The Christmas packages will be delivered to the Marian Centre Edmonton by the end of the week.

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