When there's a chance to help, the LRSD community rises to the challenge.
That desire to lend a hand was on full display once again at the Riel-Evate Winter Clothing Drive that was held the week of November 4th. Twenty-eight student volunteers sorted and packed 80 boxes of donated boots, mitts, toques and parkas as well as hockey equipment.
The idea for the drive originated in the fall when Riel-Evate, a school community foundation that aims to engage individuals in LRSD with the various communities around them, was approached by Strini Reddy, a local community advocate, with an opportunity to help.
The resident of LRSD and former educator as well as a member of the Order of Canada recognized for his "engagement in community causes as an advocate for social justice, racial understanding, literacy and poverty reduction," was approached by Garden Hill, St. Theresa Point and Wasagamack, three remote northern communities, for help in collecting winter clothing for children and youth.
The Riel-Evate Committee agreed to support this initiative and worked with LRSD to send out an email to all parents and guardians asking for warm gently used clothing to be dropped off at LRSD schools.
"This was student driven and done in the spirit of generosity and caring as guided by the LRSD's new Vision and Mission statements
and Multi-Year Strategic Plan
," said Chris Sigurdson, the Riel-Evate Committee Chair and Louis Riel School Board Trustee. "We are very grateful to everyone in LRSD and the Pembina Trails School Division
who donated and to all the volunteers who helped provide a warmer winter to kids in remote areas of our province."
While the Winter Clothing Drive may now be closed and the boxes of clothing shipped, that doesn't mean there aren't other opportunities to get involved.
"I thank everyone involved for their noteworthy gesture of generosity," said Christian Michalik, LRSD Superintendent. "But I also encourage all Manitobans to look for more sustained and systemic ways to address the issues of racialized poverty that is at the heart of the ongoing injustices impacting remote northern communities."