This past October, staff and students from Lake Vista Elementary School took part in a ‘Feelings Matter’ campaign, which encouraged them to do something nice for another person each day. Following this initiative, the LVS Student Leadership Team decided that they wanted to continue fostering the caring culture that was growing in the school community.
From there, they brainstormed some ideas that would keep the momentum going and students came up with the idea of gathering gifts for underprivileged children. LVS Teacher Meagen Giannios did some research and came across Samaritan’s Purse and found Lindsay Nemanishen, the local representative for Operation Christmas Child. “Lindsay came to our school and spoke to the SLT about Operation Christmas Child and shared stories about the children who have received gifts in the past. She shared with us that there are children from developing countries such as Nicaragua, Gambia, and Sierra Leone who are living in poverty, living in villages with no power, or running water. Some of these children don’t get to go to school, or have toys to play with,” Giannios said.
According to Giannios, the students didn’t need to hear anymore and immediately began hanging posters around the school, building red and green Operation Christmas Child boxes and handing out pamphlets to get everyone involved. “We asked if each class in the school could pack one box for one child. Our school goal was to pack 16 Christmas shoe boxes full of toys, school supplies and hygiene products. By Friday, November 28th, we had 60 jammed packed boxes,” Giannios stated.
The deadline for the fundraiser was Monday, December 2nd and from there, all boxes were counted and sent to Calgary for processing.
“Students and their families went above and beyond our school goal, and pulled together to really do something amazing. Not only did we accomplish our school goal, but with the holiday season quickly approaching, we got an opportunity to do what really matters; to reflect on what we can do for others and show that we care. I’m so proud of the students, families and staff that make up Lake Vista Public School.”