They’re kids helping kids.
On Sat., Sept. 29, students from the Grades 123 alternative class at Ecole Laura Secord School spent the morning at Toys R Us and Wal-Mart shopping for toys to drop off for kids in the CK5 (oncology) ward at the Children’s Hospital.
Student Lydia Venema spearheaded a Stop Cancer fundraiser at the school last year in memory of her brother, Harry, who died from a rare and aggressive form of childhood liver cancer when he was only 16 months old.
In June, students raised $400 to help with the purchase.
"It felt right," said Venema, who turns nine in December.
"We’re trying to make their stay a little bit better with some toys.
"It’s what we can do," she said.
Eight-year-old Natalie Foubert said her grandpa died of cancer, and because of her close friendship with Venema, saw firsthand the experience families and children go through in the CK5 ward.
"We want them to have something to do while going through that time," Foubert said.
Toni Kotaska, Foubert’s mother, called the trip a hands-on way of the kids getting seeing how much need exists in the community.
"This teaches them to think beyond themselves," she said.
"We live in a world full of wants. You forget how lovely the normal blessings are.
"We have little budding philanthropists here," she said.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
Venema’s family is currently working towards building a tot lot for kids in Harry’s memory near the school and the R.A. Steen Community Centre.