Volunteers and donors from the Backpacks for Kids program through Murray Honda and their partners Staples Chilliwack and the Chilliwack Canadian Tire pose with jackets that were donated to Chilliwack’s youth in the winter. (Submitted photo)

Volunteers and donors behind Chilliwack’s boots and backpacks programs awarded

Principals and vice-principals chose Murray Honda, Staples and Canadian Tire for provincial award

A group of companies and individuals from Chilliwack have been recognized for their community support with an award.

The 2020 B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association Partnership Awards chose five such groups across the province “who have made a substantial difference over time through projects that benefit their local public schools.”

In Chilliwack, that group is Murray Honda, in collaboration with the local Canadian Tire and Staples. Each year, they contact 30 schools in both the Chilliwack and the Fraser Cascade School Districts, to determine what the communities’ needs are. They respond by delivering high quality boots, jackets, backpacks, and school supplies.

As a result, they have been able to eliminate barriers and open opportunities so that students can participate in school in an equitable way with all of their peers.

“I have learned the value of partnerships over the years and how ‘many hands make light work’ when working towards a common goal,” says Justin Mallard, from Murray Honda. “Collectively we have the chance to work directly with local children and youth in need in both District 33 and 78, to ensure all students have access to supplies, resources and warmth throughout their school year.”

READ MORE: Boots For Kids warms children’s feet and hearts from Chilliwack to Boston Bar

The BCPVPA Partnership Awards are presented in recognition of the “immeasurable time, energy and expertise that local people dedicate to supporting B.C. students and schools,” they said in a press release announcing the winners. Nominations are submitted by the BCPVPA’s sixty chapters that provide professional support to principals and vice-principals across the province.

The 2020 BCPVPA Partnership Award recipients have responded to a range of student needs, from securing regular meals, to supporting youth at risk, to ensuring supplies and essentials.

The winners have all been encouraged by the association’s chapter representatives, where it is possible, to personally present the award to their local recipient.

“We envision some impromptu driveway ceremonies, maybe a meet-up in a local park or on a schoolground; these are special people in the hearts of our chapters, and our members will find inspired ways to connect with the recipients,” they said.

Other recipients include The Abbotsford Quilters’ Guild, nominated for their contribution to Abbotsford’s New Beginnings Young Parent Program that provides opportunities for young parents to complete or upgrade their high school education.

Jim and June Harrington in Osoyoos won for their work in the Osoyoos Schools Breakfast Program for more than 15 years. Nourish Cowichan won, for their work feeding children in need in the local school district, the local maternity clinic and three local daycares. The Summit Youth Centre Hub, in the Rocky Mountains, won for their work as a safe and dynamic plae for Columbia Valley youth.

READ MORE: Backpack program provides kids from Chilliwack to Boston Bar with tools to learn


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