On Tuesday afternoon 10 students from Lord Tennyson elementary out-of-school care program dropped by the Courier office, each bearing a bag of gifts for Directions Youth Services.
I spoke to each of the boys and girls, who seemed genuinely happy to be helping the homeless youth who use the services provided by Directions Youth. Kathy Quinn, program coordinator for the program, told me the 10 students who delivered the gifts of warm clothing, blankets, toiletries and snacks to the Courier led the initiative, which combined the efforts of 65 kids in before and after school care.
To raise money for the gifts they purchased, the nine and 10-year-olds organized a bake sale, built a wishing well for spare change and collected recycling. They raised $625, which went towards presents such as gift cards. The students appreciate the fact their lives are pretty good compared to kids living on the street. “I just love helping, it brings me such joy,” 10-year-old Jasper Schaller told me.
“Christmas is a time to celebrate with your family, so they must be sad,” said 10-year-old Paul Teodorescu.
“It’s always fun to help,” said Ethan Plesko. “And this is a good time to give because of the cold winter.”
Other students who visited the Courier were 10-year-old Peter Mikulash, nine-year-old Sara Peters, 10-year-old Lydia Sochan, nine-year-old Hannah Seaton, 10-year-old Jesse Macklem, 10-year-old Sean White and nine-year-old Alex Clegg. Thanks to all of you.
The deadline to drop off gifts for Directions Youth Services at the Courier office on West Sixth Avenue near Granville Street has been extended until Dec. 21.
Dec. 17 and 18
I don’t know about you, but I typically leave my gift wrapping until the last minute. But not this year.
The River District Centre is wrapping gifts this weekend for $2 each or with a donation of a non-perishable food item for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society. The event also includes a holiday card-making station for children.
Have your gifts wrapped between noon and 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at River District Centre, located at the south end of Kerr Street off Southeast Marine Drive. If you haven’t checked out the city’s newest neighbourhood, this is a good opportunity to take a look.
A free jazz concert takes place at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church at the corner of Burrard and Nelson, Dec. 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. Jazz Vespers presents A Cool Jazz Holiday Interlude with trumpeter Chris Davis. The church suggests you give yourself a present and grab an hour after work and before the frenzy of shopping, parties or other holiday madness to pause and take a breath. Also from St. Andrew’s-Wesley, “No admission but, hey, it’s a church so we’ll pass the baskets. Collection will benefit Homes To Heal (in partnership with Coast Mental Health).”