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Sew-Jahs show why it’s cool to be kind

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Supplied photo
Campaign co-chairs Coun. Devi Sharma (third from right), Minister of Justice Andrew Swan (second from right), Winnipeg Police Association president Mike Sutherland (fourth from right, in back), vice-president George Van Mackelberg (far right), and students from the R.B. Russell Vocational School’s Community Action Drama Group at the Cool 2Be Kind campaign launch on Sept. 18.

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Supplied photo Campaign co-chairs Coun. Devi Sharma (third from right), Minister of Justice Andrew Swan (second from right), Winnipeg Police Association president Mike Sutherland (fourth from right, in back), vice-president George Van Mackelberg (far right), and students from the R.B. Russell Vocational School’s Community Action Drama Group at the Cool 2Be Kind campaign launch on Sept. 18. Photo Store

The Cool 2Be Kind campaign, which I am a co-chair of, is now in full swing for its second year.  

The concept is simple: off-duty police officers give presentations throughout  the school year and encourage youth to put together creative proposals about being kind to fellow Winnipeggers, and those beyond our city limits, for a chance to win up to $500 to see theproposals put into action.

Garden City Collegiate was awarded $500 for the continued support of the school group, the Sew-Jahs. The Sew-Jahs group is based in a Family Studies class and was co-created by Nicolette Dirks, human ecology teacher, and school division psychologist Chantal Wiebe.

The Sew-Jahs are sewing tutus and superhero capes for the recently-renovated creative theatre space at Ronald McDonald House. Ronald McDonald House assists families with a place to live while children receive medical treatment. The funds awarded will be used to purchase fabric, thread, and pins.

The project this year is building on last year’s, when baby blankets and burp cloths were sewn for a birthing center in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, as well as Villa Rosa and Wolseley Family Place in Winnipeg.

Through these projects and the Cool 2Be Kind campaign, youth are taking an active role in social responsibility and becoming informed about the world around them. They are also improving their own well-being by volunteering their time.

The funding for the winning proposals is made possible by the selling of Cool 2Be Kind tote bags, available for $10. Numerous sponsors have aided in ensuring that thousands of youth across Winnipeg are aspiring to be kind. This year the campaign has raised in excess of $10,000 to fund 19 initiatives.

The Sew-Jahs is a prime example of how the fabric of our society can be strengthened through love and kindness. I have been very impressed with all of the Cool 2Be Kind proposals and initiatives. It has been a pleasure to be a part of this campaign over the past two years.
Off-duty Winnipeg Police Officers will continue to present at schools across the city in both English and French.  The number of students participating in Cool 2Be Kind is steadily on the rise. To have the Winnipeg Police Association present at your school or to purchase your tote bag, please call (204) 415-6652.

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