Equally happy is the staff from Isabelle Sellon School, right, from left to right, Vice-Principal Marnie Davidson, Jen Schlender, Brandee Duff and Principal Paul Pichurski.
Pass Herald Staff
An act of charity is an understatement when speaking about the donations that Women and of Steel (WoS) an organisation through Teck have recently offered schools around the area.
Co-Chairs of WoS Jen Schlender and member Brandee Duff, went in person to deliver the backpacks to the schools. They visited the Horace Allen School and Isabelle Sellon School on Wednesday, Aug 28th.
“We want to make a difference,” said Schlender.
Women of Steel, (WoS) is a newly formed group made up of Elkview women mine workers who strive to set a positive example in their communities by helping local people in need.
This year alone our mighty WoS have raised a grand total of $3745, filling 61 backpacks. All bags have been distributed but their job could very well continue into the fall as the need may be present for months to come.
Last year the women raised a whoppin’ $2300 filling backpacks, but substantially passed that total this year.
WoS was provided with a school supplies list from the schools, and bought every item on the list, specific to the grade and school of the student it would be delivered to. Supplies from easers to the backpack itself were purchased.
Any student who is need of the school supplies is eligible for the contributions.
“The need is overwhelming,” said Sarah Thompson, Co-Chair with Jen Schlender.
Along with supplying and filling backpacks, the project does include bulk donations to the local schools, as the need may not be present until the first day of school when students may not have exactly what they need for the curriculum.
Many fundraising events have been held in order to make this project a success. This year a barbeque was held at the Fernie Ford dealership to raise funds. The WoS, with the help of the generous and remarkable contributions from Fernie Ford, were successful in raising $670 dollars for their project.
WoS communicated with school councillors, and food banks from local shelters to determine who has the greatest need.
The supplies were bought using the money collected solely by donations WoS collected.
Donations to make this generous donation possible primarily came from the miners and staff at Teck-Elkview Coal throughout the summer months. Cash was also donated by the Membership of USW Local 93456, A Crew Social Club, D Crew Social Club, Staples, Teck, and local individuals.
Women of Steel set up donation bins, and collected offerings from employee throughout the summer.
“I think that the need our communities have for this is amazing,” said Thompson. “We hope to start earlier next year and hopefully get the community more involved,” she said.
WoS has full plans to continue giving backpacks and supplies next year, and making this act of charity a tradition for many years to come.
“The women of Steel should be applauded for their efforts in the community,” said Hanson.
“We want to expand this next year, and we are looking for anyone who is interested on being on the donor list for next year to call the union hall at (250) 425-0131.
WoS wish to thank everyone for their support and generous donations.