A group of students and two teachers from Fort St. James will be riding a school bus through the community to collect donations towards the Rotary Toy and Food Drive and pennies for the We Create Change project to bring clean drinking water to developing countries.

Fill that bus!

Students of Fort St. James Secondary School will be collecting donated food items for the Christmas Toy and Food Drive

Do not worry when you see a school bus pull up outside our home next week.

You are not having flashbacks to nearly missing the bus back when you were in high school.

And when the high school students get off the bus and knock on your door, go get your change jar, and look in your cupboard.

Not because you have a baseball bat hidden there in case of robbery, but because you want to help the students help those in need.

Once again some of the students of Fort St. James Secondary School, including members of the student council and the Free the Children group, will be collecting donated food items for the Christmas Toy and Food Drive. In conjunction with the Fort St. James Rotary Club, the group will be collecting food hamper donations to provide something extra to families in the community who need just a little bit more to get them through the holidays.

This year, students who attended the We Day event put on by Free the Children Foundation in Vancouver were also inspired to take part in the We Create Change penny drive the Free the Children Foundation is doing.

In order to address ongoing issues surrounding clean drinking water in developing countries, where women spend a cumulative 200 million hours collecting water every day, and 80 per cent of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation, according to Free the Children.

Kaylee Walstrom and Gabriela Willick presented the penny drive challenge to the high school at a school assembly last week, and will be taking the challenge to the elementary schools as well to collect as many pennies as possible.

The goal is to “make Fort St. James penniless” according to the girls, and make change “with something as easy and simple as a penny,” said Kaylee.

Newlands has agreed to sponsor a pizza lunch in each elementary school for the class collecting the most pennies.

The young advocates have already collected three bags full of pennies, which amounts to around 7,500 pennies, which is $75. For each $25, one person can be provided clean drinking water for life, according to Free the Children Foundation.

The school bus will be going through the community to collect food and penny donations on Dec. 10 and 12 between 6 and 9 p.m.. On Dec. 10, the bus will go to the Sowchea area, and it will drive through the downtown area on Dec. 12.

For information on volunteering or donating to the  Rotary Food and Toy Drive

contact Jasmine Kendall at 996-4446.

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