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Wildflower students raise funds for residential school survivors

The Wildflower Grade 5-6 student leadership team in Nelson has recently experienced just how broad and deep the community spirit of generosity can extend at this time of year.

Together with educational assistant Kim Laybourne, this group of students from Kirsten Johnson’s classroom have organized an online auction to fundraise for residential school survivors.

Students brainstormed, scripted and planned most aspects of the fundraising campaign themselves, which included approaching local businesses for donations of gift certificates, handicrafts and other new products or services that could become part of the auction.

“I was pretty nervous at first,” Wildflower student Elena said in a news release. “But now I feel proud that we could raise money for an important cause. I would definitely do it again!”

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In four separate outings, the student group managed to collect over $750 in gift cards and more than 40 individual items, all while gaining self-confidence and developing communication and leadership skills through the process. The students are also witnessing incredible demonstrations of empathy and generosity from their local community members.

“One individual approached us right on the street, curious what the students were doing,” said educational assistant Kim Laybourne, “He gave them a cash donation right then and there. The students were blown away!”

The Wildflower leadership online auction is now live as a Facebook group and will close Monday at 8 p.m.

All funds will be donated to the Blood of Life Collective, a local Sinixt group, and to the Indian Residential School Survivor Society.

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