A few days before the end of the spring legislative session, I was joined by principal Nori Dehn from Springfield Heights Elementary in my home constituency of Rossmere.
Nori came down to the legislature to help me pack backpacks with school supplies for distribution this September. For every one backpack we packed, Telus would pack nine! Not wanting to miss out on this generous offer, I contacted Nori, and we teamed up to bless needy students.
This was part of a Telus initiative called “Kits for Kids,” now in its 17th year. Since the program started in 2000, Telus has distributed over 100,000 such backpacks to young students, and has also planted trees, donated food and organized community beautification initiatives. This year Telus announced a million dollars of community funding for Manitoba. Across Canada, Telus has provided over $54 million to 5,000 charities serving two million youth.
This program of compassion and generosity Nori and I participated in embodied the school environment she has brought at Springfield Heights Elementary, where “humble service” and “active generosity” have been prioritized as school values. These values and the Telus opportunity were a natural fit, allowing students at Springfield Heights to identify others outside their own school to receive the backpacks. This is part of a wider initiative to cultivate understanding of Indigenous teachings and perspective in the school, where with help from colleague Sherri Black and support from Theodore Fontaine from Sagkeeng Ojibway First Nation (also a former Manitoba Grand Chief), Indigenous teachings and perspectives are woven through school culture and curriculum.
The backpack event is a good example of corporate generosity, educators, students, and Indigenous leaders coming together to improve our community.
As your elected representative at the Manitoba legislature, I am always eager to find and come alongside people doing good work and help where I can. If you know of a worthy cause or project you think I should know about, feel free to contact my office at 204-289-4545. Who knows, maybe next month you’ll read about it in the local newspaper.
Read more by Andrew Micklefield.