Lindsay Romas and Donna Robertson presents School Staff Appreciation Baskets to Chris Wijr and Mark Touzeau, principal and vice principal at Shortreed Community Elementary. (Val Hiebert/Special to the Star)

Aldergrove teachers handed surprise appreciation baskets before school

Gifts included handmade masks, snacks, gift cards, hand sanitizer, and items for the classroom

Donna Robertson got the idea of showing Aldergrove teachers just how much they are appreciated heading into the school year.

So she got to talking with friends Katie VanderVeen and Patty Campbell, eventually settling on the idea of gift baskets – all schools in the Aldergrove area would be hand delivered two appreciation baskets each.

Val Hiebert came on board as community champion through United Way of the Lower Mainland, helping Robertson apply for a Local Love Grant that could help fund the project and, in her words, “beef up the packages.”

After more donations and community support poured in from community partners such as Starbucks and Toy Central, Robertson contacted the schools and made an appointment to stop by Aldergrove Secondary, Parkside Elementary, Shortreed Community School, and Betty Gilbert on Wednesday, Sept. 9.

“There were handmade masks, individually packaged snacks so teachers can fuel up between classes, drinks, Tim Hortons gift cards, hand sanitizer, tissue, and even things for the classroom like pens and pencils,” explained Hiebert.

READ MORE: New students get drive-through tour of Trinity Western campus

She said it came as an absolute surprise and shock to the staff, but ultimately brought pleasure.

“It was a way to really show how appreciated they were,” she said.

Students headed back to school on Thursday, Sept. 10, for a COVID-19 orientation before classes officially begin Monday, Sept. 14


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