Kinsmen Club donates toques and mitts to students at Prince Albert schools

St. John Community School Grade 1 student Alexander Sumners tries on his new winter gear during a visit from the Prince Albert Kinsmen. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

For the seventh year in a row, the Kinsmen Club of Prince Albert has donated toques and mittens to various students in need across the city, including St. John Community School.

Jared Devers, the current secretary of the Prince Albert Kinsmen Club says the initiative started when the Kinsmen heard of the need for winter clothing in elementary schools.

“Years ago we found there was a need in the community. We contacted some social workers and we wanted to do some good deeds for students especially younger kids. They told us that toques and mitts is probably the most lost and most needed thing that kids have they show up when it’s -40 C (or) -30 C.”

Devers and other members of the Kinsmen club made a visit to the school to deliver the toques and mittens, but also made a speech to various classrooms about what the Kinsmen club represents.

“We had to do a little talk about Kinsmen is for the kids and then watching these kids get to open up something a little bit before Christmas and build some Christmas cheer If it doesn’t warm your heart, I don’t know what does. We’ll get these kids excited for Christmas and give this little smile makes us feel good about raising money and helping the community out.”

Kinsmen member Shaun Pikaluk hands out gifts at St. John Community School on Thursday, Dec. 21. — Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

St. John Community School principal Brock Skomorowski says he often sees students at the school without proper winter clothing.

“It’s been a really mild winter, which has been nice, but even with the change in the seasons, every day we do see kids coming in and we have students from all sorts of backgrounds in our school and some of them are brand new Canadians and this is their first winter. Some of them just don’t have the means to spend the money on those extra few things.”

Skomorowski adds he was impressed by the quality of the toques and mitts that were donated to the students.
“I knew they were getting mitts and toques, but to have them be so nice and they’re all different and they can put them on their heads and they’re really nice gear and I know that they’re going to be used all the time. Next time when we go outside for recess, I won’t hear any excuses about it’s too cold, it means a lot for our kids and our families and it goes a long, long way.”

Devers adds that the Kinsmen Club had partnered with Montreal based company Hot Paws to come up with the winter clothing items

-with files from Jason Kerr/Daily Herald