Students hand out DTES care packages
Killarney Secondary School student Tony Situ hands out care packages. (Jane Deacon, 24 hours)
As students set up a small table at Vancouver’s Hastings and Main intersection, a line of people in need wound around the block within minutes.
Local high school students distributed 500 care packages, marking 12 years of Killarney Secondary School’s “Street Squad” program.
They handed out bags of hygiene items, winter clothes and blankets, collected throughout the year.
The program supports those who may not be able to afford basic necessities, while also raising students’ awareness, said organizer Carmen Giang.
“A lot of (students) don’t realize how the people are down here, the situation down here, until they actually come down here,” she said.
Giang started with the program in high school and remains involved as an organizer while pursuing a master’s degree at Simon Fraser University.
“It’s great coming down,” said Tony Situ, a Grade 11 student. “For us to give back, they look really grateful.”
Once a common initiative in B.C. schools, Killarney is one of the only schools to maintain its Street Squad program, said Giang.
“It’s great that we’re celebrating that we’ve been giving back for so long, but that also means that there’s a lot of things that still need attention,” she said.