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Beaverlodge students donate close to 40 backpacks to children in foster care

A group of grade four and six students from Beaverlodge are hoping to brighten the lives of children in foster care. Leading up to Christmas, Beaverlodge Elementary students packed close to 40 backpacks filled with toiletries, toys and snacks and donated them to Luv Packs Grande Prairie. Vice-Principal and grade four Teacher Andrew Lojczyc says he wanted to help after seeing how little children in foster care have.

“Being teachers we know that there’s lots of kids in Alberta that are rescued from threatening home situations. A lot of these kids have to enter foster care with nothing of their own… This incentive is basically and opportunity for the kids to gather a lot of different types of products for kids in need whether it’s toothbrushes, snacks, toys, combs, shampoo, deodorant; things that they can use immediately just to get out of a tough situation.”

Luv Packs Grande Prairie was started by County resident Rebecca Hamm in 2015. With the school program, items are collected by parents, students and teacher and then packed by the grade fours and members of the grade six leadership team. Once collected and packed they are given to Hamm to take to Child and Family Services.

This was grade four student Sarah Dwernychuk’s first time packing the backpacks. She wished that she could have been there when the children received them.

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“I wish I could see the kids open them and see how their faces react… [I do it] so that kids can actually get things that they need because they can only get about a garbage bag full of things.”

Overall, Lojczyc hopes that by packing these bags, his students will learn how to be better people and how to care about others.

“For my students, we want them just to recognize that we’re a community and we always want to just give back. We just want to make sure that we’re developing citizenship skills in our kids and understand that we live in a world where it’s not always about us.”

In 2018, Hamm distributed 493 backpacks. She says that works out to around 41 bags a month on average.

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