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

Readers enjoy the letters to Santa from local children. Here’s one from a previous Christmas. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley’s community newspaper wants local kids letters to Santa

Children’s letters to the St. Nick could be featured in our annual special Christmas section

Bad weather this year could catch Langley’s homeless without enough shelter space due to COVID-19 concerns. (Langley Advance Times files)
Langley needs new site for Emergency Weather Response shelter

COVID distancing concerns have maxed out existing shelter spaces

Township of Langley firefighters were called to a crash Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 where the lone driver of a pickup truck damaged a water main leaving Trinity Western University without water. (Curtis Kreklau/Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Pickup severs pipe in Langley, leaves TWU without water

Incident involved a single vehicle, driver treated for minor injuries

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Government drives up cost of affordable housing

An Ottawa developer digs into building costs after reading about Langley’s new affordable housing

Tabor Village took to social media on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 to share what it meant to them to have Langley Lodge staff visit and provide support. As of Tuesday (Dec. 1), the outbreak at Tabor had resulted in a total of 147 cases and 19 deaths since Nov. 4. (Tabor Village/Facebook)
Langley Lodge shows ‘solidarity’ by visiting staff of B.C.’s largest COVID-19 care-home outbreak

As of Tuesday, Abbotsford facility recorded 147 cases and 19 deaths since Nov. 4

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Melissa David, of Parachutes for Pets and her dogs Hudson and Charlie are trying to raise money for a homeless shelter that will allow pets and are seen in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘My only wish:’ Children asking pet charity to help their furry friends at Christmas

Parachutes for Pets says it has received 14 letters from children in the last week t

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

Melissa Velden and her chef-husband Chris Velden, stand in their dining room at the Flying Apron Inn and Cookery in Summerville, N.S. on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. The couple is hosting holiday parties with appropriate distancing and other COVID-19 health protocols in place at their restaurant. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Celebrities, Santa and Zoom part of office holiday parties being held amid COVID-19

Many will send tokens of appreciation to workers or offer time off or cash

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon (Dec. 3) after an inmate escaped from corrections officers. The man was taken back into custody a short while later. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
UPDATE: Prisoner shot at by guards in Abbotsford had history of escapes

Stephane Bissonnette escapes from corrections officers, but is arrested a short while later

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read