Those less fortunate will hopefully have warmer feet this winter, thanks to the effort of local high school students.
Students at Kwalikum Secondary School recently collected and donated hundreds of pairs of socks to Aimee Falkenberg’s Christmas giving project.
Since 2013, Falkenberg and her family have been collecting backpacks and purses in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area and filling them with toiletries and pyjamas, which she then donates to the homeless and to a local shelter for women.
Tanya Gardner, the KSS leadership class teacher, said the previous leadership teacher let her know of Falkenberg’s giving project earlier in the school year. Gardner said Falkenberg reached out to the previous teacher and told her that socks were a big need.
Gardner said Kwalikum Secondary School students collected 401 pairs of socks and $207 in monetary donations during an eight-day sock drive at the school. The $207, Gardner said, became four pairs of pyjamas, 118 pairs of socks, 15 deodorants and two boxes of tampons.
The reponse from students, Gardner said, was really positive. She said the sock drive ran from Dec. 4-13 at the school.
“They had eight days and it was amazing. The response was crazy,” said Gardner, adding that one class donated more than 100 pairs of socks.
“The response blew me away. I really didn’t know what to expect,” Gardner said. “We had three big stockings set up, so the goal was if we filled all three stockings that they would get treated to cookies or a treat of some kind.”
The students, Gardner said, will be getting hot chocolate and cookies this Friday, Dec. 22.
Falkenberg said she’d heard from the youth in the community that it was a positive initiative.
“It really made them feel as though they were giving back to their own community, which they really enjoyed,” Falkenberg said. “I thought that it was really extra special, for me, because it actually got that knowledge out to the community about intentional violence and that it is in our community and our community was able to support those that are in that transition in their life.”
Falkenberg said Gardner dropped off the socks last Friday (Dec. 15), and half of the pairs would be going to Haven Society and the other half would be going to Forward House.