Gratitude for Our Kamloops-Thompson Communities

Posted On Wednesday December 01, 2021

By Heather Grieve, Board Chair

December 1, 2021

In my first few weeks as Board Chair, I feel immense gratitude for the outpouring of generous donations from our parents, students, staff, and community members.

An unprecedented flood that had displaced many families from Merritt to Kamloops was an opportunity for me to learn firsthand about the good-nature of so many individuals in our Kamloops-Thompson communities who stepped up immediately to learn about the needs of these families and to help.

On Friday, November 19th, Assistant Superintendent Vessy Mochikas had posted on social media an invitation for families who had been impacted by the floods to come to our @kool location at 1770 Springview Place.  The same day, Superintendent Rhonda Nixon created a video in hopes of reaching even more people. By Saturday, November 20th, more than one hundred SD73 staff and retirees as well as friends and family of staff had brought and then organized food, clothing, supplies, toiletries, games, puzzles, and books. The gym was full and well organized (it even had a toy section with stuffies positioned on plush children’s chairs).

Over 80 families from Merritt came to the @kool location over the weekend. I saw first-hand the generosity of the staff and the community in the time that I was there.  In the days that followed, I have heard stories from our staff about the families who were supported and the impact that the connections made have had on all who contributed.

Over this week, I was delighted to learn about another 100 families from Merritt who had learned about this location. Our school administrators had organized food drives and our community members continued to donate. Thank you to SD73 staff and our District Parent Advisory Council who have invested countless hours in organizing and sharing their time to continue to greet these families and welcome them into our district community.

It has been quite the year for so many families who are still grappling with struggles related to the pandemic and to the fire season, and now floods. I am in awe of the generosity of spirit and actions of so many people that it would be impossible to name all of them.

As Board Chair, I am truly thankful for each and every one of you. You make a difference in the lives of our children and now the lives of those in our neighboring communities. Thank you for everything that you do and continue to do to give back and to make our Kamloops-Thompson a community known for generosity, kindness, and love.

On the SD73 website, a parent resource page has been set up for evacuees along with a dedicated email, to connect them with the supports they need.

This column appeared in Kamloops This Week: View from SD73 on December 1, 2021

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