Templeton Secondary students celebrated the spirit of giving this holiday season with their second annual Warming up the Eastside clothing drive.
Students in Templeton's Girls and Boys Club spent nine days gathering socks, toques, gloves, warm coats and more to give to people in need. The students, and many parents, gathered at the school on Dec. 9 to put together care packages, complete with personalized messages of hope and holiday cheer on the gift bags.
"I think it's a really great opportunity for the students to give back to the community that they live in," says Tanya Zambrano, performing arts teacher at Templeton Secondary. "The great thing is that these kids are here because they want to volunteer and give back to people, even if they don't have a lot themselves."
The clothing drive is in partnership with Help Change My City, which is an organization that connects marginalized youth looking for direction with programs focusing on self development, health education and skills training.
"The whole purpose of it is to bring warmth to people living on the Eastside," says Christine Michelle, president of Help Change My City. "Not just physical warmth, but also with the messages people are writing on the bags."
Last year, the campaign was successful at distributing 200 care packages to those in need, and this year the target was set at 500 packages. Students, teachers and organizers gave out the packages on Dec. 10 in Gastown.
"It gives students a chance to reach out to people they might not otherwise connect with," says Michelle. "By just making eye contact, lending an ear, or learning each other's name is a way to make community."
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