Skip to content

Everybody Deserves a Smile qathet gift program enters fifth year

Organizers hoping to hand out 500 bags this Christmas season
CARE PACKAGES: From the initial Everybody Deserves a Smile qathet campaign in 2019, preparing a bag of necessities for the homeless were Henderson Elementary School students Aria Wadden [left] and Lyndon Jacques. Henderson took on the campaign, which had collection boxes located throughout the community, gathering items such as toques, scarves, gloves, wool socks, toothpaste and soap, to be given out to the community’s less fortunate. The decorated bags filled with the items were distributed at a Community Resource Centre luncheon.

Everybody Deserves a Smile (EDAS) qathet is planning for its fifth season and is looking for help from the community to make this its most ambitious year yet.

According to a media release, EDAS qathet is a nonprofit organization that, in partnership with Henderson Elementary School, began in 2019 and has grown in support from one small school with a big heart, to all six elementary schools in qathet School District. 

EDAS qathet is gearing up to offer hand-painted bags filled with a homemade card, baked cookies, warm accessories and toiletries, to brings smiles to those who receive these heartfelt offerings, the release stated. The number of kindness bags has grown from 100 bags in 2019 to a goal of 500 bags in 2023.

“These kindness bags are the culmination of a heartfelt intentional program that is offered to school students aimed at developing an understanding and empathy of those who are vulnerable in our community,” stated team lead Doe Fraser. “It empowers elementary students through education, action and offering the opportunity for youth social leadership that results in a realization that the students can make a difference.”

Fraser stated that Henderson school has inspired other schools to join the learning journey. Westview Elementary School, Brooks Secondary School and Kelly Creek Community School continue to support the project, with the welcome addition of Texada Elementary School and James Thomson Elementary School, she added. This season, Edgehill Elementary School is taking on a larger leadership role, and will host part of the EDAS bag packaging, according to the release.

The Interact Club of Brooks continues in a supporting role to help ensure that any gaps are filled with willing, service-focused enthusiasm.

“This entire group of committed youth will help create EDAS hand-painted bags and greeting cards, while foods classes at Brook Secondary School will help bake 2,000 cookies,” stated Fraser. “EDAS qathet cannot make this project a reality without the continued support of our community and we are currently looking for donations of new hats, neck warmers/scarves, partially wool socks, large print word search books and toiletries. These donations will be received with gratitude at all qathet School District schools, as well as Knitter’s Nest in the Townsite Market and Powell River Public Library between November 13 and December 15. 

“We accept cash donations by cheque made out to EDAS qathet, or e-transfer to [email protected], or on All items collected and funds raised stay in the qathet region.”

The EDAS qathet launch will be at Max Cameron Theatre on November 14 at 9:45 am, and the kindness filling day will be in the Henderson gym at 9:30 am.

For more information, follow EDAS on Facebook and Instagram @edaspowerfullove.

Join the Peak's email list for the top headlines right in your inbox Monday to Friday.