While Nanaimo-Ladysmith Public Schools’ students don’t start school until Sept. 4, Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation’s annual fundraiser got underway Thursday.
The Stock the Lockers campaign, which runs until Aug. 31, seeks to raise $60,000 for the 2018-19 school year and money will go to assist less fortunate students. Money raised last year was used in a variety of ways, according to Ed Poli, foundation president.
“We provided students with over 60,000 breakfasts and lunches,” said Poli. “We’ve provided over 900 students with school supplies. We paid a lot of fees for students that couldn’t afford to participate in school events and field trips. We provided more than 100 students with athletic footwear so they could participate in school athletic activities.”
Poli said the money also provided students with help for vision and dental care and supported approximately 4,000 students who participated in various enhanced learning initiatives.
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Tania Brzovic, school trustee, said the breakfast and lunch programs are beneficial, not only because they provide students with nutrition.
“One of the nice things that’s happened through that is that contact with the kids,” she said. “We’ve been able to develop relationships and we’ve been able to talk to the schools [about] the things we notice and we’ve been able to get help for other things for families.”
Jamie Brennan, school trustee, said the foundation helps, especially given Nanaimo’s reputation of child poverty.
“The foundation helps in the beginning of the school year with this campaign and what it provides for students without having the embarrassment of not having the adequate supplies,” said Brennan. “Students who come from families that are challenged can go to school with a full complement of supplies and not feel singled out.”
Crystal Dennison, foundation executive director, said people can donate at Nanaimo Coastal Community and Ladysmith and District credit unions, both Staples locations, Country Grocer, through the foundation office, online at www.nlsf.ca, or by mailing a cheque.