Posted: December 10, 2020
The spirit of giving is alive and well all across ASD-N!
Students in the Miramichi area have taken it upon themselves to ensure that local seniors receive some Christmas magic in this challenging year.
The Santa for Seniors program was created at Max Aitken Academy after the community giving program they have been involved with in previous years was cancelled last week. Wanting to fill that need and empower their students to problem solve and foster positivity, the school launched Santa for Seniors earlier this week with a memo to Miramichi area schools inviting them to join the operation. By the end of that first day, 10 local schools had signed on to help out.
With a goal of $5000 to cover the cost of gifts for seniors at Losier Hall and Bridgeview Hall, students set out to raise funds in a variety of ways; most schools hosted a pajama/hat day where students paid a toonie to wear their favorite pj's or hats, and many schools also posted messages of request to their school communities - families stepped up with generous donations.
To date, more than $7000 has been raised for the program, an incredible outpouring of support in a short period of time.
Gift shopping for the seniors will take place next week, and students will wrap presents and create hand-made cards. On December 15th, MAA students and first responders will make thier way to the two residences to deliver the gifts and to carol from the courtyard, spreading joy while following all health and COVID guidelines.
Santa for Seniors is a true example of schools and students coming together to make a difference in their community, and is also proof of how learning and life lessons extend far beyond the walls of school buildings.
In the Bathurst area, schools have been involved with the Spirit of Christmas program for many years now. Essential items and treats are gathered and distributed to over 300 seniors in need. Schools throughout the region have adopted this important project, and have collected food items, made hand-made cards and baked goodies. The culinary class at Bathurst High School baked non-stop for three days to deliver 1500 ginger cookies to be included in the bags for the seniors. Students have learned first-hand about how their actions can positively affect others. Deliveries take place this week, sharing joy and kindness to all corners of the region.
Other programs around the district, such as Making Spirits Bright in the Jacquet River area, have partnered with students to help spread the Christmas spirit. One thing is for certain: the students gain as much (or more) from the experiences as the program recipients do.
ASD-N is very proud of all of our schools and students who have helped to make this holiday season brighter for so many of our seniors.