Katelyn Elliot gets her face painted during Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation’s Stock the Lockers kick-off event Thursday in Nanaimo. The foundation is looking to raise $60,000 this year. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Stock the Lockers 2017 campaign aiming for $60k

Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation annual fundraiser goes until Sept. 1.

With the start of school less than a month away, Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation is once again looking to “Stock the Lockers.”

The non-profit foundation kickstarted its annual fundraising campaign Thursday, seeking to raise money and school supplies for students in need. According to Crystal Dennison, foundation executive director, $45,000 was raised last year, but the needs of the district are increasing and this year’s goal is $60,000. In addition to supplies, graduation and field trip fees, food programs are also supported.

Last year, the foundation helped 11 schools provide breakfast for students, through the Breakfast Clubs of Canada, said Dennison. Three additional schools are expected to be added this year, depending on money raised: Gabriola Elementary, Dover Bay Secondary and Cedar Elementary schools.

The foundation is also in the early stages of partnering with businesses to procure software that will help students with careers.

“We’re also working on a new initiative called Inspire, to bring a career software program into [the career technical centre] area of the high schools … it’s almost like a matchmaking software where the business community can register onto software and the students have access to that, so it helps with work placement, work experience, mentoring, that type of thing with the business community,” said Dennison.

The foundation was able to support a new robotics club at a number of the elementary schools last year and that is expected to continue this year.

The campaign will run until Sept. 1 and Dennison said people wanting to contribute can do so at Coastal Community Credit Union branches in Nanaimo and Gabriola, the two Nanaimo Staples stores, any Country Grocer location, Ladysmith and District Credit Union or online.

For more information, go to www.nlsf.ca.