Fundraiser hopes to stock students' lockers to help them succeed

By Spencer Sterritt
August 10, 2017 - 5:09pm Updated: August 11, 2017 - 6:36am

Crystal Dennison (middle) receiving a check from the Nanaimo Lions Club at the Stock the Lockers kickoff event. Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — An annual initiative is boosting their fundraising goal to help give Nanaimo students all the tools they need to succeed in school.

The Stock the Lockers campaign, by the Nanaimo-Ladysmith Schools Foundation, kicked off Thursday. Money raised will buy school supplies, everything from stationary to running shoes and also fund educational programs, scholarships and enhanced learning initiatives.

Crystal Dennison, executive director of the Foundation, told NanaimoNewsNOW their goal increased to $60,000 and the money is needed now more than ever.

“What we're continuing to see is students showing up at school without breakfast, without the school supplies they need to be successful, without proper running shoes. Our key goal is to address that need, regardless of the family circumstances, regardless of the situations these children are coming to school in."

Last year $45,000 was raised, just shy of their $50,000 goal. Dennison said they're confident they can hit their new goal thanks to strong community support.

“We all know the district doesn't have the funds to adequately provide all of these enhanced learning opportunities. I'm happy people are behind us and beside us to make sure this is happening.”

If enough money is raised, programs introduced last year, such as an awareness campaign with RCMP and a robotics club, will continue.

Ed Poli, a director on the Foundation's board, said there's few things more important these days than the future of our youth.

“Every once and a while you'll get a little handwritten scratchy thank you card from some kid, who because we gave him running shoes can participate on a school team or sport they wouldn't have been able to,” he said.

Donations can be made at Coastal Community Credit Union locations in Nanaimo, as well as Country Grocery and Staples or online.

 

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