Grade 6 student Maya Sailland, left, with Bonnie Finotti, kindergarten teacher and one of the Oceanside Elementary School’s WE Club sponsor teachers, during the WE Club’s book sale the week of Dec. 5-8. The OES WE Club raised more than $400 for the Salvation Army Food Bank through a book sale. — Photo submitted by Bree Stutt

Oceanside Elementary School forms WE Club

Parksville Qualicum Beach students help raise more than $400 in book sale for food bank

Helping a local organization was the first goal for some Parksville Qualicum Beach students. The next step is to make a difference globally.

The Oceanside Elementary School’s newly formed WE Club raised $409.45 for the Salvation Army Food Bank through a four-day book sale at the school last week.

The school’s WE Club is part of the global initiative ME to WE.

The mission statement for ME to WE is: “to inspire and enable people to become leaders and agents of change; offer volunteer trips that allow youth and adults to participate in health, education, and economic development projects abroad; and to empower people to change the world with their everyday choices by offering consumer products that give back.”

Students Lauryn Mowat, Grace Bullock and Keeley Whitney-McGarbey helped with the book sale.

Mowat said the school’s librarian suggested a book sale, since the library had books that could be donated. Mowat said the WE Club put up posters throughout the school asking students to donate books for the cause, and then the WE Club members sorted the books for the sale.

Whitney-McGarbey said there were enough books donated for one book for each student. She said the school really contributed to the WE Club’s initiative.

“We got really excited when we raised that much money because a few of us weren’t exactly sure we were going to get that far, and it was a lot of fun just being able to sell all the books,” Whitney-McGarbey said.

Bullock said the OES WE Club chose the food bank because it was struggling to get food donations.

While the OES WE Club’s first iniative was to help a local organization, Mowat said the club’s next goal is to help people or an organization globally.

“It’s not just thinking about yourself, it’s thinking about everybody around you too,” Mowat said.

Amber Tanner, OES teacher and WE Club sponsor teacher, said one of the tenets of the ME to WE organization is to do one local action and one global action.

The OES WE Club, Tanner said, started about a month ago after another student, Maya Sailland, had the opportunity through a family friend to go to a WE Day celebration. Tanner said Sailland brought back information on the Me to WE organization to share with the class.

“We had probably 24 kids who immediately jumped on board, and that’s where we are right now,” Tanner said.

Whitney-McGarbey said the WE Club is good because it gives students an opportunity to see what it’s like to actually make a change.

“It’s children helping children less fortunate than themselves around the world just by doing some small local things,” Whitney-McGarbey said.

For more information on ME to WE, visit www.we.org.

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