Students from Begbie Elementary School in East Vancouver recently took action to help the needy in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. Their story is told in their words:
On January 12, 2010, Divisions 11 (Grade 4 and 5) & 16 (Grade 7) went to Oppenheimer Park to donate supplies for people in need. Prior to this day, we had started a collection drive that had the entire school bringing in clothes, non-perishable food, toiletries, other personal hygiene, and basic necessities, since November.
As human beings, we feel it is very important that we help out within our community as much as we are capable of doing. Putting ourselves in the shoes of people in our community who have come upon hard times, helped us in realizing that if it were us we would want the help.
On the day of our Campaign for Hope, a few of the students went to set up a tent and tables to display the donations. It was a very miserable, rainy day, but the atmosphere around us was full of giving, sharing, and caring. We set up just on the outskirts of Oppenheimer Park, and word spread quickly that we were giving away things.
Our objective was to help the people who needed it the most, not just the homeless, but the people who might not be able to afford to cloth themselves and keep warm. It was raining a lot but we sucked it up and did not let the weather affect our mood, or cloud the reasons we were there.
When we actually started looking at the people who were coming to our stand, it made us feel really bad. Living with not enough food, no shelter, and wearing the same clothes everyday is not a good life to live. This experience affected us in a good way because when we saw the smiles on their faces that made us happy.
Here is what some of our peers had to say:
"The weather was very cold, we felt what they felt every winter."
"We took the time to put ourselves in their shoes and felt what they felt everyday."
We all ended up learning something, that day: anyone can make a difference, you just have to start with one good deed!