Katharine Yeo, Jessica Ho, Lehna Baker and Ellen Roberts are students at Stelly’s Secondary in Central Saanich and they’re organizing a school-wide community can drive for the local food bank this month. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

Stelly’s students hitting the town for donations

Annual can drive for the Sidney Lions Food Bank is Feb. 28

Students at Stelly’s Secondary in Central Saanich are changing the way they make a difference in people’s lives, by trying to involve more of them in an upcoming fundraiser for the local food bank.

A group of Grade 12 students in the school’s climbing academy saw an opportunity to potentially do more good for the Sidney Lions Food Bank by rescheduling their annual can drive to later in the year, after running it over the Christmas season for many years. The group had been organizing the can drive for the last three years and saw that they could get better results by including more of their classmates and even alumni, families and school staff.

Katharine Yeo, one of the students, says in previous fundraisers, classes competed against each other to see how many cans of food they could collect. It got to a point, she said, where only a few classes — or around 30 students — would be taking part. So, the organizers decided that more hands makes the work lighter. This year, they are encouraging the entire school to go door-to-door in their community, collecting food and other donations.

Their goal is to collect 10,000 cans of food for the food bank — and at a time of the year that might receive fewer donations. Typically, food drives take place in November and December, when giving is top of mind. The food bank, however, needs donations all year long, added student Jessica Ho.

“The goal should be to contribute something all year ‘round,” she said.

So, the small group of organizers have been to the school’s physical education classes, asking them to hand out flyers about the fundraiser during their activities outside school. They are tapping in to as many school resources as possible to try to encourage as many of their peers as possible to make the can drive a success.

Ellen Roberts says getting as many other students out will also help build up the school’s community.

“The support of the community is really special,” she said, “and it will help bring the school population together.”

The school is trying to get the word out to the Central Saanich community about the can drive as well. They hope as many households contribute as possible.

Students from Stelly’s will be in the Brentwood Bay, Saanichton and Keating areas on Wed., Feb. 28 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Lehna Baker said students will go out in groups of at least two, visiting homes and collecting donations. Routes will be set up for them to walk and anyone who wants to help can visit the school’s website (stellys.sd63.bc.ca) where they can find a form to fill out. That will let the organizers know who is coming and where they’d like to go .

Or, people can show up at stations set up at the Central Saanich municipal hall, Keating Elementary and Brentwood Bay Elementary and get a route there.



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