Students in the peer helping group at Sacred Heart Academy in Marystown are doing their part to ensure no student in need will be without a warm hat and a pair of mittens this holiday season.
In mid-November the group, comprised of student volunteers from Grade 6 and 7, started asking other students to donate a pair of mittens or a hat to the project.
Lindsey Power, the school’s guidance counsellor, told The Southern Gazette she got the idea for the hat and mitten drive to meet a need she had seen in the school.
“We had some students that were going outside during recess, and obviously the weather got cold really fast and so we saw a need for hats and mitts,” she said.
Power suggested doing the drive to the peer helping group as one of the projects they do within the school and from there Santa’s Closet was born.
Grade 6 student Ian Smith was part of the group that came up with the name. He said there were a few suggestions before a name was picked.
“It could have been Winter Wonderland Supplies or other names like that, but when one of my friends came up with the name Santa’s Closet, we’re like ‘perfect’ cause it’s all the gear that Santa would have in his closet for travelling on Christmas Eve,” Ian said.
He is happy the group has an opportunity to help other students.
“It is getting really cold outside and some (students) don’t have any hats and need mitts to use this winter,” Ian said. “That really upsets me, when I see kids that really need hats and mitts and they don’t have anything to wear.”
Emma Kilfoy, also in Grade 6, said she also enjoyed having the opportunity to help others, as well as designing posters to promote the winter item drive.
“We got to draw pictures on posters and we got to collect hats for people who are cold,” she said.
Power said to date they have approximately 50-60 donated hats and mitts. With the deadline for donations fast approaching, she and students in the peer group are looking forward to distributing the items within the school.
“We’re going to be pairing the hats and mitts, almost like making a little package and then these packages are going to be given to the classroom,” explained Power. “Once a child gets a hat or mitts, then that’s theirs then to keep.”
The deadline for donations is Monday, Dec. 17 to give the group time to put the hats and mitts together.
“It there’s students that are in need they’re going home over the holidays and they got a warm hat and mitts,” she said.
Power noted if they receive more donations than is needed for the school, they will donate the extras to the Smallwood Crescent Community Centre.
“We have 461 students in our school, so I am feeling that there is going to be enough of a need here to use the amounts that we have,” she said.