For more than twenty years, students at Delta Secondary School (DSS) have collected food and gifts, and assembled hampers for families in need in the school community to help them through the festive season. Last year, they gathered thousands of food items, hundreds of gifts and more than $7,000 in gift cards.
This year, knowing that many more families are in need of support, due in part to the challenges they face as a result of the pandemic, students are expanding the Twenty Days of Giving initiative with the aim of collecting enough donations to help 25 families and contribute to the South Delta Food Bank.
“This hands-on experience has really emphasized the importance of community and been a powerful example of what we can do when we all work together,” said Ms. Colleen Blatz, Social Studies Teacher, who has been involved in organizing this initiative since 1999.
The initiative has become a wonderful holiday tradition and, each year, students have managed to be more and more successful in helping members of the Ladner community. Even retired staff and former students contact the school to see how they can continue to get involved and contribute. To support this year’s event, Ms. Blatz is leading a committee of DSS staff including Principal John Pavao, Mr. Graham Harkley, Ms. Carla Day, Ms. Paige Collings, Mrs. Cora Deane and Ms. Shelley Greene.
“Although things might look a little different this year, we will not let the pandemic stop us. We have many who are ready and willing to help, including Student Government and the Interact Club. We encourage the local community to join in our initiative and help us to help others in need,” said Ms. Blatz.
The Twenty Days of Giving campaign starts on November 18 and will run until December 7. Members of the community can drop off non-perishable food items at the main entrance doors to the school, located at 4615 51st Street, Delta. For donations of cash or gift cards, please call ahead to the school office (604-946-4194) to make arrangements. Students are also planning a drive-thru food drive at the school for December 1. More details will be shared on the school website shortly.
Photos from last year’s initiative