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Drinkwater school full of angels

Drinkwater elementary students Aidan Wetzel-Eden and Madeline Moroz pose in front of the school’s Angel Christmas Tree. Student and parents have been busy putting presents under the tree for the past two weeks, with gifts headed for the Salvation Army this week. - Ashley Degraaf
Drinkwater elementary students Aidan Wetzel-Eden and Madeline Moroz pose in front of the school’s Angel Christmas Tree. Student and parents have been busy putting presents under the tree for the past two weeks, with gifts headed for the Salvation Army this week.
— image credit: Ashley Degraaf

Building blocks, bike helmets, hot cars, stuffies and dolls.

That’s just a few of the items underneath Drinkwater elementary’s Angel Tree.

Every year the elementary school sets up a Christmas tree with tags dangling off its branches.

Students along with their parents can pluck tags, which have a specific age and gender on it, and bring in gifts, which are then donated to Cowichan’s Salvation Army.

“We’ve just been completely overwhelmed this year with the support,” Drinkwater principal Sheryl Koers said, noting this year’s stash is pretty hefty. “We’re pretty amazed at how much we have underneath the tree.”

Grade 5 student Madeline Moroz has a difficult time reaching for the remainder of tags as the goodies, including everything from Transformers figurines to mermaid Barbie dolls, have somewhat taken over the hallway and entrance space to the school’s front office.

“I helped last year as well,” Moroz said. “I always help set up the tree and put on the tags and it’s a lot of fun.”

Moroz, as well as other Drinkwater students, get giddy every time they walk past the tree, eying the goods and knowing they’re going to good homes.

“We’ve done the Angel Tree for a number of years and it’s always heart-warming,” Koers said.

Gifts find their way to children aged newborn to in their teenage years.

“You can just see this sense of pride when they walk by the tree. It’s really neat,” Koers said of her students.

The project, led by teacher Tamara Hansen, has been ongoing for the past couple weeks, as has the school’s annual food drive.

The gift drive wrapped up Tuesday.

And just under 1,500 food items headed to the Cowichan Valley Basket Society were loaded last week by Grade 4, 5 and 6 students.

“It was a huge highlight for the school, having the children help load the food into the van as well,” Koers said.

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