As relief agencies work to provide for the nearly 90,000 Fort McMurray evacuees, kids of Barb McNaughton’s Grade 3 class at Notre Dame Catholic School in North Battleford felt something was being missed: toys for the displaced children.
From the first news report the students viewed, McNaughton said the effort grew quickly to a toy drive called “Children to Children” that encompassed all schools in the city. One of the students, Claire Morin, said they wanted to help after seeing a picture of firefighters handing out teddy bears.
“I’d like people to help, too,” Morin said. That sentiment was enthusiastically echoed by others in the class, like Sophia Abonitalla.
“In general, helping is a really good thing and our class wants to help those children and evacuees,” Abonitalla said.
Collection bins were placed in the schools, school board office and local businesses. McNaughton and her husband plan to personally deliver the toys to Edmonton on May 25.
The group hopes to collect one new item for each child and teen affected by the fire and evacuation. Plush toys, Lego, board games, trucks, and books are among the suggested items.
“The kids probably wanted something to play with, because if you realize it, their toys are all gone,” said Faylene Hoffman, another student in the class. “They may be very sad. They lost their favourite toys.
“We could help them get happy again.”