Chilliwack students are banding together this Halloween and co-ordinating a single door-to-door food collection effort. Instead of hosting their own Halloween for Hunger initiatives, six local schools and the Interact Club, the youth group of the Rotary Club, have teamed up for the first time and set a goal to collect 5,000 non-perishable food items.
Nadia Van Den Berg, a Grade 12 student at Sardis secondary school and Interact Club president, said students divvied up the Chilliwack area, assigning one area to each person to prevent overlap.
"We have united all the schools in Chilliwack who had previously gone out on their own," Van Den Berg said. "We can be more successful [because] everybody has their own assigned area. It works better, or we hope that it will."
Halloween for Hunger is an initiative of Free the Children, an international charity that mobilizes youth to create positive change in their communities. The event takes an altruistic
twist on trick-or-treating. "It's been an event in Chilliwack about the past five or six years, where students go out on Halloween night and they collect canned food instead of candy," Van Den Berg said.
She spearheaded the Halloween for Hunger initiative at Mount Slesse middle school five years ago, while a student, and has been participating ever since.
"I think it's an awesome opportunity for us to use this event to do something good and help people in the community," Van Den Berg said. "The only way to make a real impact is if you start at home and then work your way out."
Last year, a group of about 40 students from Sardis secondary school managed to collect a whopping 2,500 food items for local non-profit organizations.
"I think it's great for youth to get involved and to see what a difference that we can make," Van Den Berg said.
Students will be visiting the following communities: Garrison, Sardis Park, Canterbury and Peach Road area, Tyson, Promontory, Little Mountain, Yarrow and Chilliwack Mountain.
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