École secondaire Notre-Dame-du-Sault has once again filled their canoe as part of the Noël Portage campaign that the school runs every year.
The goal is to fill a canoe with non-perishable food items to donate to Christmas Cheer.
“This is a tradition that’s been going on at the school for many years now. We do it because of our school’s voyageur logo that includes a canoe. All the students from kindergarten to Grade 12 participate in the event,” said Anne Marineau, the school’s vice-principal.
It took the students only five days to fill the canoe, and the non-perishables were donated last week.
“We encourage students to dress up according to a theme every day while trying to fill the canoe,” Marineau said. “One day was Ugly Christmas Sweater Day, so students could wear an ugly Christmas sweater to school if they brought a donation for Christmas Cheer. Another day was Hat Day so if you wanted to wear your hat all day you needed to bring a donation. That’s how we filled up our canoe in five days.”
Marineau says she is proud of the students for being able to do this act of kindness for the community again this year.
“Especially this year, everybody knows it’s been a tough year,” she said. “We weren’t sure if we were going to be able to do it because we’re not supposed to bring things from outside of the school, and because of the policies and protocols we have to follow. But we got good news at the end of November that we could do this kind of activity at school. So we jumped on it right away.”
“It’s a good way to show the kids kindness and make them realize that not everybody has food on their table during Christmas, not everybody has a lot of gifts, and not everybody is as fortunate as us. It’s another way to follow our mission. One of our values is to be grateful for what we have and to be kind and share with others,” she said.
Amelia Spacek, a Grade 12 student at École secondaire Notre-Dame-du-Sault, had some words to share about the school’s efforts as well.
“I think the overall response that we got from all the students was impressive and it was a really successful year for us. I’m proud of all the students and everyone who helped organize it,” said the 17-year-old.
“We know it’s been a hard year for everybody so we’re hoping that we can help a few families have a happier Christmas season and it’s just a great way for us to help all the students be involved in the community.”