100 care kits donated to kids going into care | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

100 care kits donated to kids going into care

Port Alberni

Students of John Paul II Catholic School and E.J. Dunn joined forces with the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council and local businesses to gather donations to make care kits for children going into foster care.

NTC Education Manager Lynnette Lucas sends her children to John Paul Catholic School. The private school teaches Catholic values, including charity, along with a more traditional curriculum. Throughout the school year the students are engaged in projects designed to help others.

“John Paul II staff and students work on these types of projects all year. That’s who we are,” said JPII Principal Kathy Korman.

It was Lucas who thought making care kits for kids entering foster care was a good idea.

“I read about someone else doing this in another community and arranged things with Larry (Pond, former Usma Manager).

And why would children need care kits?

“Children going into care often go with only the clothes on their backs,” Lucas explained.

Having grown up along-side foster siblings, Lucas knows what it is like for them. Going into foster care, being removed from family and home, is stressful enough for kids. Entering into a foster home with nothing to call their own only makes it worse.

Lucas has adopted two former foster children to join her family.

“We want to send them something to tell them we’re thinking of them and they can have stuff of their own and not have to borrow,” she said.

Students at the school were quick to jump aboard; they set out immediately to collect donations for care kits.

Soon boxes started filling with donations of toiletries, small toys; anything that would bring a child comfort. A call went out to the staff at the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council for donations of unused hotel room toiletries and gifts for children.

Local business stepped up with donations of teddy bears, toothbrushes and toothpaste for the kits.

On Feb. 15 the Grades 7 and Grade 8 students and teachers from both John Paul II Catholic School and E.J. Dunn gathered to assemble 100 kits for three groups: kits for girls, boys and babies.

In each of the re-usable shopping bags was a new blanket, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, a teddy bear, and other assorted toiletries or toys.

There was also a note that read: These packages were made possible through the generous donations from the following: Shaw, Dr. Tremblay, Dr. Nystrom, Dr. Hughes, Dr. Braunig, Nuu-chah-nulth Education Workers and staff, and John Paul II Catholic School  families, students and staff.

The kits were assembled in a matter of minutes. They were later picked up by a grateful Usma employee.

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