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YiP group donates to mental health

Lauren MacGill

Winkler Elementary School Youth in Philanthropy students presented Eden Foundation's Earl Reimer with a cheque on June 4. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

Winkler Elementary School Youth in Philanthropy students presented Eden Foundation's Earl Reimer with a cheque on June 4. (LAUREN MACGILL, Winkler Times)

WINKLER - 

A local health and wellness organization benefitted from a group of hard-working, dedicated students.

The 22 Youth in Philanthropy students at Winkler Elementary School raised $591.66 for Eden Health Care Services.

The students held bake sales and a family movie night to help them raise the funds.

Part of the reason the students chose Eden was that they recognized mental health issues in their own lives. “Some of our students are struggling with mental health issues,” resource teacher Madhura Animalla said. “It never comes out naturally for them, they’re kind of hiding it. We focused on counseling, because counseling gives hope for a better future and it changes lives in a positive manner.”

“People can get help when they need it,” she added. “It also helps with anxiety disorders, which can seriously impact people’s lives.”

“It’s always a delight to see that the community is engaged with the organization and the work that we do,” Eden Foundation director of development Earl Reimer said. “It’s a delight to see the next generation engaged early like this. There is a willingness that is evident as I was talking with the kids.”

Reimer said it was interesting to hear that kids at the elementary school level are willing to acknowledge their own mental health. “If nothing else, that already is an achievement to hear that young children are in a position and willing to acknowledge the fact that they or someone near them has needed help or needs help,” he said. “That’s very encouraging. It speaks well for what has been done in the community.”

Reimer said Eden faces ongoing challenges to raise awareness for the work they do, but said he felt there has been an increase in understanding in mental health over the past years.

Reimer said the students requested that the donated money go toward helping people, so the money will be going into counselling services.

Animalla said this is one of the biggest groups of YiP students at WES, and said it was inspiring to see them getting involved at a young age.

One of Eden’s recent projects, a playground at the Enns Courts buildings, is also set to start construction soon, potentially within the next few days. “The intention is to put the shovel in the ground now,” Reimer said.