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Lethbridge middle school students donate dog houses to families in need

WATCH ABOVE: Students at G.S. Lakie Middle School are using their shop skills to give back to the community. Five doghouses built by the students are being donated to families in need, with the help of big community sponsors. Malika Karim reports.

Twenty shop club students at G.S. Lakie Middle School in Lethbridge have signed up to be part of their schools Community Dog House Project.

“We got all told to meet at lunch,” Grade 7 student,┬áVivian Moore, said. “So I volunteered to help, for families in need of them.”

Students made five custom-built dog houses, complete with cushions and blankets, and are donating them to Lethbridge Family Services.

READ MORE: Lethbridge charities preparing for holiday season

“These kids have created something from the heart, they’re giving back to the community and they’re giving back to families they don’t even know, which is really giving courage and hope to those families on the receiving end,” Michelle Gallucci, with Lethbridge Family Services, said.

The project was the idea of their new shop teacher, Gord Smith, who wanted to show students that it doesn’t take much time to give back to the community.

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“It started because I had the opportunity to take over the shop program here, it’s my first year teaching shop,” Smith said. “I always like to think outside of the box and find ways to involve the community and do things a little bit differently.”

Home Depot and Logic Lumber provided all materials needed for the houses, and Charmed Playhouses gave the blueprints for the custom design.

Lethbridge Family Services is donating the houses to families wishing to remain anonymous but says it’s overwhelmed by the community support.

“We can’t do these little extra things for these families,” Gallucci said. “So when the community takes part, and they show that kind of love and support, it really helps these families in their growth process.”

“It was a collaborative effort,” Smith said. “I can’t say enough thanks to those partners that were involved. Without them, schools on such tight budgets wouldn’t be able to do neat things like that.”

The initiative will run the whole year at G.S. Lakie Middle School.

“At the end of each term, each of my shop classes will create five [dog houses], so by the end of the year we’ll have donated 15 dog houses to families in need,” Smith said.

Pet Parade donated toys and food for each family’s pet and Paws on Training will meet with each dog and provide personalized training for families identified through Lethbridge Family Services.

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