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Kemptville students collect hundreds of gifts for children at CHEO

A sample of the collection of gifts gathered by students at Académie Catholique Notre-Dame. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa) A sample of the collection of gifts gathered by students at Académie Catholique Notre-Dame. (Dylan Dyson/CTV News Ottawa)
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Elementary school students in Kemptville are embracing the spirit of giving this holiday season by collecting hundreds of toys for kids at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

The idea started as a holiday project for Morgane Remy's Grade 7 and 8 humanities class.

"We thought it would be a good project to bring Christmas to CHEO since the kids cannot really necessarily go out and we can't really go there to do activities with them," explained Remy, a teacher at Académie Catholique Notre-Dame.

The initial plan was for each student to bring in one present to be donated, an ambition that Remy evidently set too low.

"After a week and a half, we were at almost 300, 400 gifts already. Now we're over 600, so we're really happy about it," she said.

Grade 7 student Chloe Whelan says she enlisted the help of her community to get the job done.

"We went around my neighborhood and we handed out flyers that we made," said the 12-year-old, who managed to collect around 50 gifts.

"I just thought maybe other people need help."

Their classroom is currently filled with bags of Hot Wheels, stuffed animals, LEGOs, fidget toys and art supplies.

"It was pretty crazy," said Grade 8 student Danieve Fifield. "The goal was 200 because our school is not that big."

Bringing cheer to the children at CHEO is providing a sense of holiday fulfillment for the young Kemptville students.

"The thought of not being able to go home during the holidays, I guess just bothered us," said eighth grader Josh Francois.

"We just wanted to do something for them," added classmate Allison Fletcher.

"Make some bags with different things in them like cards, just to make them happy and make them feel special."

Having already achieved their goal, the Grade 7 and 8 class is now aiming to collect 1000 presents before the gifts are delivered to CHEO on Dec. 18.

"We're just really surprised about all the help we've got from everyone and we're really grateful," said Remy.

"We've got a really good results and we're really happy with it."

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