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Coquitlam's Encompass 10-12: Nurturing Compassion in Community
$6,800 raised
34% of $20k goal
14 contributors
143 Days running

Principal Lisa Dubé, youth worker Karin Leathwood and others at Coquitlam’s Encompass Alternative program — with their families, friends and acquaintances — know how it feels to give till it hurts.

There are students at the program who have barriers to learning - they arrive at school hungry, and cold - without the most basic of essentials, it's difficult for them to learn.

Staff at the schools, and their friends and families have pitched in, trying to feed kids in her care and provide Christmas hampers, clothing, daily food and other essentials. 

Youth worker Karin Leathwood tries to provide food twice a day, morning and afternoon. She went to the local food bank and they gave her granola bars. She hands out one to each student. Until she runs out.  She spends her own money, as does principal Lisa Dubé, and other staff . Somebody donated pears, so food for the day was one pear and a glass of milk (also donated). 
Leathwood and Dubé want to feed the kids a healthy grab and go lunch - more substantial and healthier than granola bars. And they want to cover other emergency essentials - like boots and a coat for a student who is working at an outside job trying to put himself through grade 10 and was arriving at school soaked, and frozen with no adequate clothes. 
They are trying to put together holiday hampers for the neediest families. They had one  turkey for 15 hampers. No fresh food. Not so much as a carrot or potato. Leathwood has gone back to her friends and family over and over again trying to muster the help she needs.
“I’ve hit them up so much, I’m surprised they answer my calls anymore,” she said.
In her application, Leathwood wrote:  "It's amazing what a thoughtfully considered offering can do. As I've built connections with students, slowly they start to open up and share their likes, or dislikes, or nutritional preferences. Some now joke about that 'one time we had fruit gusher snacks.'
"The students have definitely picked up on, 'we'll offer what we have, and that's the best we can do.' They are grateful I know, but their eyes light up when you've paid attention and arranged something for them that they weren't expecting. Food connects us. "
The Encompass program is trying to raise $20,000 to provide everything from basic food security, to clothing, emergency bus tickets for students who can't get to school. The program is even planting a garden, both to teach students about growing their own food and to create some sustainability for fresh food options.
Help Coquitlam's Encompass 10 - 12 program help its most vulnerable students.


This project is one of many received by The Vancouver Sun Children's Fund for our 2020/21 Adopt-a-School campaign.

Since the day our first Adopt-a-School news story was published in the fall of 2011, generous Vancouver Sun readers have helped us raise more than $6 million to improve the lives of B.C.’s neediest school children.

The money you donate helps teachers and school staff who are dealing with children suffering from the effects of poverty and enables them to provide breakfast or lunch, food at weekends, other necessities (like warm clothing) and educational experiences. We are grateful for your support, and for the opportunity to make a difference.

(100 per cent of donated funds are used for grants.  Admin & expenses are either supported by the Vancouver Sun newspaper or paid out of interest on investments.)


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