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Students at small schools show big heart during holiday drive

Coldwater, Moonstone students brought in more than 2,700 items; 'We’re pretty proud of the kids,' says teacher-librarian

The spirit of giving is alive and well at Coldwater Public School and Moonstone Elementary School.

Students spearheaded a holiday drive over the past few weeks, bringing in more than 2,700 donations of food, toys, clothes and toiletries for various community organizations over the holidays.

With fewer than 400 students at Coldwater Public School, and Moonstone’s student body limited to kindergarten to Grade 3, their generosity amounts to many donations per student and far exceeds their set goal of 1,000 items.

Coldwater Public School teacher-librarian Jeremy Lightfoot-Ferrier said the community’s support for the student-led drive has been “overwhelming.”

A student equity, diversity and inclusion leadership team came up with the idea for the holiday drive, Lightfoot-Ferrier said, after learning of high demand at Canadian food banks this year, and school staff helped the students execute their vision.

“It’s been really good. The kids are taking a huge lead on all this. The spirit of giving in Coldwater community and Moonstone was definitely pretty amazing this year,” he said.

“We’re pretty proud of the kids.”

The toys brought in by students were given to County of Simcoe Paramedic Services, which donates them to kids in the region as part of its annual toy drive.

Food and clothing items were donated to the Coldwater Food Bank, with additional items going to Coldwater seniors, Lightfoot-Ferrier said.

“It’s got to be 60 boxes of food here at Coldwater to take to the Coldwater Food Bank of the United Church,” he said.

In addition to toys and other items, the drive brought in 89 boxes of food between the two schools, three boxes of toiletries and two boxes of winter hats, mittens, scarves, and socks.

Students also donated gift cards for local seniors and made Christmas cards that will be given to seniors and hospitals over the holidays.

As part of the drive, students were given the chance to win a free hour of bowling at the Coldwater Bowling Centre, with each class earning a ballot for every 25 donated items.

Classrooms were also given the chance to put an ornament on the school’s Christmas tree for every 25 items brought it, and it is now well decorated, Lightfoot-Ferrier said.

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Greg McGrath-Goudie

About the Author: Greg McGrath-Goudie

Greg has been with Village Media since 2021, where he has worked as an LJI reporter for CollingwoodToday, and now as a city hall/general assignment reporter for OrilliaMatters
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