Gabe Balmoro, Dwainne Bernardino, Roxanna Ordonez, Ella Pieterse, Madison Sherman, and Makayla Toolsee, (absent: Taylor Moonias), raised money for hygiene kits for the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries. (Special to The News)

Gabe Balmoro, Dwainne Bernardino, Roxanna Ordonez, Ella Pieterse, Madison Sherman, and Makayla Toolsee, (absent: Taylor Moonias), raised money for hygiene kits for the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries. (Special to The News)

Maple Ridge students raise hundreds for local charities

Grade 6/7 students at Harry Hooge elementary raised more than $1,000 collectively

More than $1,000 was raised for charity thanks to students at Harry Hooge elementary and a desire to make the community a better place to live.

James White’s Grade 6/7 class started work on Inquiry projects at the beginning of April.

This is the 12th year for the Inquiry projects done by classes across the district that receive iPads from the school board. They learn how to use the technology to help them discover things they can do to make the community better.

White’s students worked on four different projects: making life better for animals; helping the homeless; how to get their portable classroom off the grid by using solar energy; and having more outdoor entertainment for teenagers to participate in.

There were six students in the group that focused on the homeless in Maple Ridge. They decided to hold a freezie sale to raise money for hygiene packs for those in need.

The students then wrote up a handout and newsletter that went home to parents to tell them what the freezie sale was for.

Suggestions about what to put in the kits came from the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries.

Then they went shopping and bought items like – socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, and sanitary wipes – and they got feedback from the classroom.

At first they thought they raised enough money to make a total of 30 hygiene kits.

However, White said, the response was amazing. When the group finally totalled the orders they collected from April 28-30 for the jumbo freezies that they were selling for $2 a piece, they ended up with orders totalling 380 freezies. That meant a grand total of $760 to make 60 kits for those in need, plus a charitable donation.

READ MORE: Maple Ridge charity raises thousands at Coldest Night of the Year walk

Another group of five students in the class decided to raise money for SAINTS, Senior Animals in Need Today Society, an animal rescue society based out of Mission.

This group of students raised $422 with a by-donation pet photo shoot on May 5. The students created the backdrop themselves and had more than 40 families line up – socially distanced, outside of the school, with multiple hand sanitization stations – to have their pets’ photos taken.

“One of the boys in the group, him and his father are into photography,” explained White. They took hundreds of photographs of dogs, hamsters, guinea pigs, and even a bearded dragon.

They even had costumes and props for the event.

White could not be more proud of his students.

READ: Maple Ridge school raises hundreds for children’s sports in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh

“I didn’t do anything,” he said.

“I just provided the time and a little bit of assistance when they needed it. But really they were running the whole event.

“I was just going along for the ride, which was wonderful,” added White.

Amelia Norrie with the Salvation Army picked up the hygiene kits to distribute them at the shelter.

Sheila Kullar, president of the board and long standing volunteer at SAINTS, accepted the cheque at the school on Tuesday, June 1.

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