Ariele Ullrich, A grade 12 student from École Héritage Immersion in St. Pierre, had came up with the idea to make care packages for homeless people in Winnipeg.
Her music teacher, Liane Ouimet, says “She was in Winnipeg and had noticed how there were homeless people at the corners of the streets and were asking for things. As she was passing by, she felt really bad that she couldn't offer them anything, and so she came up with this wonderful idea of collecting different items and preparing them packages."
So the school ran with the idea, and decided to collect items and donations over the course of the year, and then prepare the care-packages to give one to each family in the school. A whopping 3300 items were donated by Ecole Heritage families.
The teacher explains the plan from there. “When they (the family) came across a homeless person, they could give them something and that would be helpful.”
Now that the collection of items and fundraisers are pretty much wrapped up for the year, they have been preparing the care packages. Ullrich estimates that they have made over 200 so far.
She says the contents of the packages mostly contain hygiene products and non-perishable foods.
“Since we collected a lot of water bottles, there's one water bottle per as well as a toothbrush, toothpaste, and then feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons. Then, like a little bit of non-perishable food, soap, deodorant, kind of a little bit of everything.”
To top it all off, each package will also include a little note of encouragement from the families of École Héritage.
Throughout the year, the kids started to turn the fundraiser into a competition. “It was kind of each class versus each other and like who could kind of donate the most?”
Ullrich explains that some students were too fixated on winning, so they were reminded of the fundraiser’s true purpose. “We had a bunch of teachers kind of explaining to them, the reason why we're doing this, and it's not necessarily to win, but to help someone else.”
Student Woodson Dueck says that it was more than just the students who donated. “Well, a lot of these donations came from the students just from their house, but we did go through some companies and yeah, they really wanted to give to us to give to the community.”
Some items donated, such as canned goods, they were not able to include, so those items will be donated to the Grunthal Food Bank.
The school’s humanitarian club gives thanks to Canadian Tire (Steinbach), St. Pierre Pharmacy, Lucky Luc's Restaurant and Bar, and Clearview Coop (Steinbach) who donated to help their cause.