Small school, big heart: U-Connect students donate Cold Weather Packs just in time for winter

November 9, 2020

Snow is in the forecast for the Fraser Valley as a cold spell blows in. That means blankets, heaters, and hot cocoa for most of us. But for some, a warm shelter and safety isn’t always an option.

This was part of the reason behind a community project put together by two grade 7 students, Remy and Payje, at U-Connect. “They decided they would do something that would help the community and spent time fundraising and collecting donations to create cold weather packs for those living on the street,” explains principal Paul Trattle. “The packs have water, a granola bar, a home knit toque, scarf, gloves, socks, hygiene packs, toothpaste, toothbrushes, rain ponchos, reusable face masks, tissues, hand warmers, and a comb.”

“When I heard about the plan that our students were undertaking I was incredibly impressed with their thoughtfulness and caring for members of our community who are often incredibly vulnerable,” continues Trattle. “Our school motto of ‘be kind’ is exemplified in this project for it not only gives those within our community a helping hand, but inspires others to do so as well.”

Distribution of the packs is being handled by the Langley RCMP. “[The students] asked if they could donate these packs to the RCMP to give out to people they connected with in the community who were in need,” explains Trattle, “and our school liaison officer, Cst. Damian Moe, happily accepted them on behalf of the Langley RCMP community policing department.”

“I was incredibly pleased that our students and staff elected to involve the Langley RCMP with distributing these items as it shows their trust and appreciation for the work they do in our community as they continue to build strong relationships,” says Trattle.

“The Simonds and U-Connect school community is one of caring and community support,” explains Trattle. “While we are small, we have an incredible amount of heart, with a great deal of community outreach and leadership from our students K-12. Our motto of ‘be kind’ is at the core of this as we work towards ensuring our school is a place where students feel like they belong. This emphasis on empathy and acceptance is well represented in the project that our students have undertaken and I’m incredibly proud of the work that they have done.”

Remy and Payje were able to put together twenty-five care packages through donations of items and money. The packs are now being distributed to those in need by our local RCMP.