Theatre teacher Patrick McMath makes a contribution to student Dwayne Melendez. Black Press photo

Theatre teacher Patrick McMath makes a contribution to student Dwayne Melendez. Black Press photo

How some Langley students used spare change, bake sales and candy-cane-grams to help the needy

This week, three families will have a better Christmas as a result

Every Monday morning for over a month, Langley Secondary School (LSS) students Nathalie Dafoe, Jordan Baerg and Dwayne Melendez have been going from classroom to classroom in search of spare change.

“So as you already know, we’re from the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) team,” Melendez told one classroom.

“If you have anything to donate, please do.”

“We also have a bake sale,” Baerg said.

They were one of several fund-raising teams from the 23-student AVID class at LSS out to raise at least $1,000 to help two to three Langley families this Christmas.

In classroom after classroom, teachers and students dumped coins into a repurposed Halloween candy bucket.

The AVID program is unique in that it pairs one teacher with the same group of group of students over several years.

“Each year they do community outreach programs,” teacher Kendall Sewell said.

“It’s theirs to own and theirs to run and I’m just there to facilitate,” Sewell added.

“In this program, we focus on “being our best self,” with the goal of striving for academic excellence, post-secondary dreams, and bettering both ourselves and our communities.”

The students decided how they wanted to raise money, and they opted for collecting spare change, bake sales and candy candy-grams, where donors can arrange to have messages delivered to specific people with a holiday treat.

Lillian Weaver-Beck made cupcakes, cookies, rice crispy squares and brownies with classmate Sofia Andrews.

“Me and Sofia had a lot of fun baking,” Weaver-Beck said.

“It’s fun to do this for a good cause.”

“I’m surprised how much money we got,” Andrews said.

Shea MacAllister was a first-time baker who rose to the occasion.

“We needed someone to bake brownies and I’m, like, hey, that doesn’t sound too hard, MacAllister said.

“I never baked before,” Melendez said, laughing.

“I learned how to bake the weekend I was supposed to bake.”

On Friday, the campaign wrapped.

They had raised $1,300, more than the target and enough to help three families instead of two.

This week, the students were to go out as a class to purchase the gifts for the families, wrap the presents, and deliver them.

The plan was to deliver the gifts on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

“I was kind of excited to do it.” Baerg said.

“It’s good to give back to people who aren’t as fortunate as you,” Melendez said.

“To make them happy,” Nathalie Dafoe added.

Among the other Langley student holiday initiatives this season:

James Hill Elementary had a food drive to create hampers for families in need as well as a “Christmas Angels” program that involves collecting presents for families that could use assistance over the holiday season.

Fort Langley Elementary and Yorkson Creek Middle School set up “giving trees” to help the needy.

Willoughby Elementary held their annual food and gift drive. Food was collected for the Langley Food Bank and gifts are being forwarded to Ishtar House.

Gator Pod students from Walnut Grove Secondary School delivered gifts to a Langley family in need.

D.W. Poppy students organized Christmas hampers for seven needy families.

A group of Social Justice Leadership students in the school district were preparing gifts for a special visit to the Langley Youth Hub.

Langley school superintendent, Gord Stewart, praised the student efforts in an online statement:

“The Christmas season is a great time to connect with family and share in the holiday spirit. Unfortunately for some of our Langley families, this time of year can also be very challenging emotionally and financially. I greatly appreciate the efforts of students in our schools to support Christmas hampers, toy drives, the Langley Christmas Bureau, food drives, and adopt a family initiatives. These actions truly speak to the spirit of Christmas.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aaliyah Rosa. (Black Press Media file photo)
Langley child murder trial delayed until spring

It will be three months before testimony resumes

Okay – who predicted that increased pet ownership would be a side effect of a pandemic? (LAPS/Special to Aldergrove Star)
Painful Truth: Predicting the post-COVID future is no easy task

Small changes are gathering steam, and no one saw all of them coming

The new FVRL Express Service was inaugurated during the pandemic. The system is seen here in Maple Ridge’s branch. (Special to Black Press Media)
FVRL not currently planning for fundraising foundation

The largest library system in B.C. has a dozen small volunteer groups instead

The RCMP was called to a condo complex in Langley City in the early hours of Jan. 18, 2021, for a shooting. (Shane Mackichan/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Our View: Too many shootings as gang war continues

We need to ask what more we could be doing to stop the endless gang wars

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

(File Photo)
Interior Health says COVID positivity rates in Fernie area actually 10-12%

IH say the rates are not as high as previously claimed by the region’s top doctor

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of B.C. conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Francina Mettes and Thomas Schouten with the 200-page document they submitted in December of 2018. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Dutch man, 94, facing unwanted trip home can stay in B.C. with wife of 45 years

Immigration offices cuts red tape so couple of 45 years can stay together in Victoria area

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

Most Read