Help Ladysmith schoolchildren stock the lockers

August is Stock the Lockers Month in Ladysmith, and those involved are hoping to raise $4,000 for students in Ladysmith and North Oyster.

It may be hard to think about the start of another school year right now as the sun shines down on us and we make our plans for Ladysmith Days and all kinds of summer activities, but Delena Sword and Mimi Zuyderduyn have certainly been putting a lot of thought into the start of school.

And that thinking has led to worrying. They know that many families in Ladysmith will not be able to afford school supplies for their children for the coming school year.

In previous years, there has been a local fundraiser for backpacks and supplies for schoolchildren whose names were obtained through the Ladysmith Food Bank. Sword and Zuyderduyn say they know the need will be greater this year, and they anticipate that fundraising will be more difficult.

Because of this, and because they would like to reach those in need who are not Food Bank clients, Sword and Zuyderudyn have decided that instead of running parallel programs, they will join with the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation, which has had a Stock the Locker program in place to help local children for several years.

“As they buy their goods in large quantities and at considerable discount, our monies will go further,” write Sword and Zuyderduyn.

Ladysmith schools have already received funds from Stock the Lockers, and Sword and Zuyderduyn hope to raise the profile of this program in Ladysmith and do a month-long fundraising campaign designated for schoolchildren in North Oyster and Ladysmith. Their goal is to raise $4,000 so that every student in Ladysmith and North Oyster will start the school with the necessary supplies.

Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins has declared August as Stock the Lockers Month in Ladysmith. Here’s your chance to help children start the school year on the right foot. Contact Sword (250-245-2190) or Zuyderduyn (250-416-0016) for more information.

— The Chronicle