SUCCESS - Father Lacombe Catholic School students donned smiles and 'kindness capes' as they walked their donations to the Lacombe Food Bank.

Kind kindergarteners make a big impact at the Lacombe Food Bank

Local food bank recently saw a meaningful donation, inspired by kids and made possible through community

BY KALISHA MENDONSA

The Lacombe Food Bank recently received a meaningful donation thanks to the hard work and creative minds of Mrs. LaurieMcIntosh’s kindergarten classes.

The young Father Lacombe Catholic School students came together with their teacher as well as the crew of Cilantro andChive to raise money and bring in donations of goods to the food bank.

The group raised $476 through sales of ‘Mrs. Mac’s Kinder DREAM Burger’ at Cilantro and Chive, where $2 of every burgerwas donated to the food bank as part of the project.

As well, the kinders organized a school-wide food drive, bringing in over 645 lbs. of food to the food bank.

“The kids are just so enthusiastic. We read so many books about kindness, and watch movies about kindness and we havehad so many talks about it it’s our first classroom rule,” McIntosh explained, saying she has a great amount of pride forthe students who have participated in these events.

“This month with the food bank, we saw a lot of that excitement as we collected items through the school each day. Forthem to actually be able to touch the food, and stack it and count it and know where it was all going was very important.”

This is definitely not McIntosh’s first act of kindness in the community.

Together with previous classes, the ‘Mrs. Mac’s Kinders’ have become known in the community for their acts ofcompassion, during which the kids don ‘kindness capes’ and smiles.

“The excitement they feel when the capes are out is awesome. They never question if what we’re doing is necessary, theyjust go for it.

“The kindness capes came about a few years ago. Every month, we go out into our community so that the kids can giveback to Lacombe, some way, somehow. We decided to focus on the food bank this month, with the invention of the DREAMburger,” McIntosh explained.

“We knew we wanted to raise money, but we also know food is important and it’s more tangible for the kids, so we did afood drive as well.”

McIntosh said there was an overwhelmingly positive response in the school around the food drive.

She said the burgers at Cilantro and Chive just took off, and that she was extremely surprised at just how much money wasraised from the initiative.

“When I opened the envelope from the restaurant and saw $476 it was just wow,” she said, laughing.

“I’m not surprised because our community is so supportive, and we saw so many pictures and encouragements rollingthrough social media. I wasn’t surprised by the response that way, but when I saw the actual number of what we’d raised, itwas awesome.”

Last month’s community kindness project had the children dropping off balloons to a student’s grandmother who isbattling cancer.

McIntosh said the class surprised the grandmother with a visit, and that the experience and emotion of that day would stickwith her for a very long time.

Perhaps the most touching part of these projects is that they are often the ideas of the kids themselves. McIntosh said shelooks forward to the new ideas each month, and is proud of her students for fostering a sense of pride and compassionwithin the community.

kmendonsa@lacombeexpress.com