Laval high school students give back on coldest day of the year
MONTREAL – Students and staff from Laval’s North Star Academy braved the cold and headed downtown Sunday afternoon, for a good cause.
Seven students, along with staff members and the school’s principal, stocked a truck with food, clothes and supplies and set up shop at The Old Brewery Mission to hand them out to those in need.
“We went and bought chocolates, roses and cupcakes, cause we want to celebrate Valentine’s Day with them as well , so they know that they’re thought of,” said North Star Academy Principal, Josée Pepin. “But lots of jackets, snow pants – last time we came they asked for that- we got a lot of socks and mitts and everything that we can keep them warm with.”
The idea came three years ago from 15-year-old Aiden Wagner.
“My friend sent me a video and it was basically people in Paris who were wrapping up presents and giving them to the homeless for Christmas,” he said. “So I thought, why not do it here?”
It didn’t take long before Pepin and the school jumped on board.
“I said, if you really want to do this, let’s get all the jackets we can, all the lunches we can and I’m going to bring you down with our bus and we’re going to give back on Valentine’s day,” Pepin said.
She said the coats and supplies come from parents of North Star Academy.
Prior to the event, Pepin said she sends out an email and they collect items and parents donate whatever they can.
“Everyone gives and gives at Christmas, but then they kind of forget about everybody when it’s the coldest in February,” Pepin said.
Riwa Jaafar has also been involved in the idea since it first started.
“I love doing this, it feels so good,” Jaafar said. “Seeing these people smile and seeing what they go through – you see how grateful and blessed you are.”
This is the third year the school participates in the initiative and Pepin said, no matter what the temperature is, they’ll continue the tradition for years to come.
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