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Donations made with heart
The cache of critters in Wendi Metcalfe's École Laronde Grade 6 class was a veritable rainbow of comfort – blue, purple, pink and yellow, some with eyeballs, others with hearts.
While the variations in the knitted and crocheted creations were many, it was their destiny that made them stand out.
Each and every one was made with a mind to easing the journey of a traumatized child.
"They knew where these were going from the get-go," Metcalfe said of her students' wish to donate the soft projects to help children who have experienced violence or other trauma.
"I suggested it, but they took it from there. This is them."
As the students clutched the results of their hard work, staff members of Surrey RCMP's Victim Services program (both of whom requested their last names not be published) assured the children that their efforts would make a difference, distributed through the Child Abuse and Sexual Offences unit.
"Part of the worst thing about having something happen to you is you don't know what's going to happen next," said Marnie, who started with the program as a volunteer in 2004.
"Your little stuffies will go a long way."
"People will love these very much," added Rummy, also a victim-services worker. "It looks like you made them from your heart."
Metcalfe said the students started to learn how to knit and crochet in September, and quickly surpassed her own skills.
"They worked really hard," she said.
Classmates Kiera Adams, Nayah Mang, Emily McTavish and Nancy Luo combined their efforts, each creating five squares to make a baby blanket. Shea McMartin knew she would have a hard time saying goodbye to her blue stuffie, Chestnut, but said, "it was so much fun making them."
Marnie and Rummy surprised the students by trading their creations for a bag of the Teddy bears that are typically handed out to child victims.
The pair told Peace Arch News the handmade hugs are important to the children – and even some adults – who receive them.
"It makes a huge difference," Rummy said. "When we call people months, years, down the road, they still have them."
The class also got to hear about policing from RCMP school liaison Const. Manjit Gill, and to check out Gill's patrol car.