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Chilliwack mental health and addictions students make sandwiches to hand out to street people

Sprott Shaw College mental health addictions care worker students take a day for volunteer effort
Sprott Shaw College student Collette James (seated left) and her Mental Health Addictions Care Worker program colleagues, along with teacher Cy Lacuyer (second from left standing), and school advisor Shannon Banks (second from left, seated) at the school on April 13, 2023. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)

Sprott Shaw College student Collette James talked to a homeless person recently who suggested she would like something very simple: a sandwich

So, James and her fellow students in the Mental Health Addictions Care Worker program decided to focus their volunteer day project on this simple task.

On Friday (April 21), the students will push the desks aside and convert the classroom into a kitchen for the day.

The plan is to make 100 sandwiches to deliver to people in need. Pairing up in teams of two and three, they will be handing out sandwiches Friday to people in both the Sardis and downtown area in Chilliwack.

In preparation, the students along with their instructor Cy Lecuyer, partnered with local businesses like Tydel Foods and Superstore for this community event. The small non-profit and the large chain store both made donations to help make it happen.

READ MORE: Chilliwack meat shop feeding low-income residents, seniors with compassion

“Many of the sandwiches made in the classroom will be handed out to the homeless community due to serious and persistent challenges they face,” according to Shannon Banks at Sprott Shaw. “The class came up with this concept after a student encountered a homeless individual who said that ‘she would love it if one day someone would walk up to her an offer a sandwich and water.’ The students were clear when asked, let’s get out and help people in need, one sandwich at a time.”

Lecuyer, the instructor for the program, comes from a social worker background who said he believes that healthcare workers need to understand the value of each person in the community and building relationships with the people makes lives meaningful and jobs important – a philosophy that runs throughout their course.

“From start to finish, all aspects of this student-lead activity have been planned by the students of the Mental Health and Addictions program of Sprott Shaw Chilliwack. They have demonstrated what it takes to be a care worker with their warm, caring attitude and skills.”

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