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District students load up backpacks for the less fortunate

Large group of School District 79 students pack donated items into backpacks for the homeless and needy last Wednesday at the School Board annex. - Don Bodger
Large group of School District 79 students pack donated items into backpacks for the homeless and needy last Wednesday at the School Board annex.
— image credit: Don Bodger

Members of the District Student Advisory Committee are making the Christmas season a lot merrier for the region's less fortunate.

DSAC, consisting of District 79 secondary school students, gathered at the school board annex last Wednesday to complete their annual backpack project. They filled donated backpacks with toiletries, school supplies and warm clothing for the homeless and needy youth.

"We did get 35 backpacks from Monk Office and Targus Canada,'' said Makenna Campbell, 17, a Grade 12 Cowichan Secondary School student who served as chair of the backpack project.

An additional five backpacks were filled.

"We just went from there and looked at all the donations we got,'' said Campbell. "We've been breaking a record every year. It's usually around 30 to 40 backpacks.''

Campbell said she got into DSAC a couple of years ago and this is the fourth year of the project. There are one or two representatives from each school on the committee, she added.

"We all go out and grab donations.''

Planning starts well in advance of the Christmas season.

"We first talk about it in October,'' said Campbell. "During October and November, we go out to businesses and schools.''

About 20 to 25 secondary school students were involved, including some famous faces like YTV's The Next Star finalist Parker Schmidt from Cowichan Secondary and Chemainus Secondary all-around athlete and golfing sensation Emily Adams.

All the students displayed great teamwork, pitching in to get the backpacks filled assembly-line style.

After the students did their part, the organizations receiving the donations took over.

"The students decided they wanted to take on an issue of homeless and it's specifically targeted to youth,'' said Tracy Jones, executive assistant to the superintendent for the Cowichan school district.

"The students do all this part and we have Community Options (Society) and Youth Outreach who get it out to those who need it.''

 

 

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