On the weekend I was shopping at one of our local businesses. I had the privilege of chatting (at a socially acceptable distance, of course) with the business owners. Part of our discussion was about the challenges we all face as a result of the current pandemic and the specific impact of restrictions on the students at Visions West.
We have been blessed at our school to have the ongoing support of community organizations such as Next to New and a variety of "anonymous" donors. These groups and individuals have shown our students, time and again, how much the youth in our community is valued. Last June's 2020 graduates benefited from the generosity of many community sponsorships from our inaugural graduation ceremony in 2018 as we were able to purchase many reusable items at that time.
Food insecurities for our students have not gone away and, in fact, in some cases it is harder for our students to procure what they need in an anonymous fashion. Pre-COVID we had baskets of food located throughout our classrooms; we encouraged students to take what they needed. Now students must ask for what they need. In spite of this, our relationship with our students is such that many do let us know that food is scarce at times. We have been able to provide them food hampers in large part due to our community's sponsorship.
As I left the store last Saturday, the gentleman opened his wallet and handed me some money. "Put it towards food for your students", he said. I don't know if I adequately expressed my appreciation for his generosity. He reminded me that it takes a village to raise a child.
I am humbled by this "village" I call home. When the world appears to have gone crazy around us, Rocky Mountain House continues to find generosity, compassion and kindness to share.
Mrs. Bobbie-Jo Douglas