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North Van student launches campaign to say thanks to her school's custodians

Toonie for Taking Care of Us initiative aims to give back to those who help keep us safe
Ross Road toonie for taking care of usWEB
Grade 7 student Rowan Brecher started a campaign to raise money for gift baskets to say thanks to the custodians at École Ross Road Elementary in North Vancouver.
Rowan Brecher’s about to be done with elementary school, but not before she thanks all her school’s custodians for everything they’ve done during what’s been a tough and challenging year.

In an effort to give a shout-out to some unsung heroes, Brecher helped organize a Toonie for Taking Care of Us campaign last month in order to thank the five custodians and cleaning staff at École Ross Road Elementary for their hard work in keeping the school safe and sanitized during the pandemic.

“I see them a lot during recess and lunch cleaning our desks and making sure our school is nice and clean and safe. I realized they never really got recognized at the end of the school year,” says Brecher, who’s set to wrap up Grade 7 later this month.

After consulting with her school’s principal and parent advisory council, Brecher’s toonie campaign was launched. Students were asked to consider donating a $2 coin with the proceeds used to buy gift baskets for the school’s exceptional caretakers.

“We sort of combined some of our different ideas and it ended up everyone would be asked to bring in a toonie for the custodians and then each class was doing a card during school time.”

With all the toonies counted, Brecher’s campaign managed to raise an impressive $1,008.

“I feel like it’s really cool that everyone worked together to do all of that. I wasn’t expecting that much, it was really amazing,” she says.

Each basket contained a number of gift cards, a handmade card from each class, a box of chocolates, and a small bunch of flowers from Maple Leaf Garden Centre in Lynn Valley, according to Brecher.

The majority of the gift baskets were dished out to Ross Road custodians this past week.

“They seemed very pleased,” says Brecher. “During lockdown I had to work at home. When we were given the opportunity to come back to school, I was really excited about that. It’s mainly because of the custodians I was able to do that.”