Volunteers from the Women of Steel in Sparwood gather to stuff backpacks full of school supplies for students and the upcoming school year.

Women of Steel packs school supplies for local students

Women of Steel's Backpack Campaign provides local students with school supplies.

Volunteers from United Steel Workers Local 9346 Women of Steel gathered at the Sparwood Union Hall on the afternoon of Aug. 26, getting ready to go back to school. They packed backpacks full of school supplies to give to students in need of supplies for the upcoming school year.

This if the fourth year that the Women of Steel have operated their Backpack Campaign, raising all the funds needed to buy the school supplies and distribute them to the students. This year, the campaign raised over $7000 from May through to July, which was a combination of fundraising and donations from local businesses and individual donors.

Sarah Thompson and Jen Schlender, who are co-chairs of the Women of Steel and head the campaign, received numbers of potential students in need from the local schools, the Sparwood Food Bank, and the Fernie Women’s Centre, allowing for them to know roughly how many supplies are needed.

With the money raised, the Women of Steel bought nearly all the supplies any student could need through the school year. The volunteers packed 72 backpacks full with supplies and made bulk donations to school, allowing the school to give out supplies to students that are in need throughout the school year. The packs are distributed to nearly every school in the Elk Valley and Crowsnest Pass, including all the schools in Fernie, Sparwood, and Jaffray and all but one school in Elkford.

“Our goal of the program is to have all kids equal so that they can have the confidence to thrive and go to school,” said Sarah Thompson, co-chair of the Women of Steel.

The campaigned raised over $3000 by feeding the workers at the Elkview mine, with a barbeque set up at the bus station.

“We were feeding the guys going to night shift and coming off day shift at Elkview,” said Thompson. According to her, the mine workers welcomed the barbeque, and were happy to support the campaign. The Elk Valley Thrift Shop donated $1000, and two sister union locals donated $500 each. The campaign received community support from the Sparwood Overwaitea with food discounts and the Elkview mine with both a donation and permitting the barbeque set up at the bus station.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Mountain Market showcases local goods

The Mountain Market is held each Sunday morning in Fernie’s Rotary Park

Summer races kick off at Fernie Alpine Resort

FAR jumps into their summer programming with mountain biking and trail running races

Summer Stories Around Town program encourages outdoor reading in Elk Valley

With storywalks and clothesline stories in Fernie and Sparwood, everyone can get reading

School District 5 identifies funding needs in yearly budget report

The SD5 board presented three main projects that need increased funding in the coming years

From baseball stars to forest fires: Southeast Fire Centre water bomber has an interesting past

Tanker 489 is stationed in Castlegar this year, but in the 1960s it belonged to the L.A. Dodgers.

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

VIDEO: Vancouver Island cat missing 18 months reunited with family

Blue the cat found at Victoria museum 17 kilometres from home

Most Read