High school students who participate in the First Responder Program in Richmond and Vancouver will be delivering over 4,000 pairs of socks, underwear and sweaters to St. Pauls Emergency and Covenant House Wednesday, Dec. 21.
The schools that the students attend have been competing in SockWars 2011 for the last two weeks.
Cambie secondary in Richmond collected 3,068 points. A point is awarded for each pair of new socks or underwear. A point is also awarded for each dollar collected, as that money will be used to purchase socks and three points are awarded for each new sweater that is collected.
The prize, such as it is, is to send along two students, chosen by the class, for the delivery.
On Wednesday, the students load the donated goods into the back of an ambulance and accompany the donations to their destination.
The First Responder Program operates in 10 Lower Mainland secondary schools in Richmond, Vancouver, North Vancouver and Delta.
Motivated young people in Grades 11 and 12 undertake training in First Aid and First Response under the auspices of the Canadian Red Cross.
They are then mentored by members of the B.C. Ambulance Service while they provide these vital emergency services to their fellow students and their teachers on a daily basis in their schools.
They also donate their services to assist at community events such as the 2010 Olympics and the Richmond Tall Ships Festival.
The idea for donating socks and underwear germinated during a conversation between Dr. Karen Wanger and Head Nurse Debi Watts (a Richmond resident) at St. Pauls Hospital about six years ago.
When a patient arrives at the Emergency Department, they are often cold and wet.
As anyone who has come in from the West Coast winter, the first thing that you want is to be dry and comfortable.
The two caregivers suggested that the socks and underwear, while small in nature, would have a huge effect on the well-being of the patient.
Thus started SockWars in 2006.
Every year the schools compete to collect the most socks and underwear. Sweaters were added last year and have been greatly appreciated by the disadvantaged when they are released after completing their medical treatment.