With temperatures falling earlier this month, Mildred Hall teacher Courtney Jung noticed some shivering students weren’t fully dressed for the winter.

She teamed up with Donna Meister, an officer administrator at the school, and on Tuesday posted to Facebook inviting donations of winter clothing. The results have come quick, and generously.

Jung has already given away five full snowsuits and “a lot of neckwarmers,” though she estimates more have been given away at the school since.

Mildred Hall teacher Courtney Jung posted an invite for winter clothing donations on Tuesday.
Nick Pearce /NNSL photo

“If you don’t have to sell it, why not give it to those who need it?” she said.

Boots, however, continue to be in short supply. While they wear out quickly, even if community members donate outside liners, it’s easy to find inside liners around town.  Sizes 10, 12 and 14 are some of the hardest to find for youth winter gear, she said, and would be very welcome. Neck warmers and scarves are also needed.

So far, she’s received items at her home and at the school.

A few members of the community have also messaged her about donating money so Jung can purchased winter-gear from the store. That said, she’s looking more for re-used items because children can grow out of snow suits quickly.

Jung has offered to do pick-ups for donations, and handle any necessary washing.

In terms of handing out the suits, they go wherever there’s need.

That said, from working at the school, Jung already had an idea of where the suits were needed.  She’ll bring in the snowsuits, matching them to each student’s size, and if it fits, it’s theirs.

“Kids are pretty excited. They’re very happy when you show them a full snowsuit, a matching snowsuit. They’re like, ‘wow I can have that?’ Yeah, it’s for you!” she said.

Jung has also offered to share the gear with students at Weledeh Catholic School as well: “I’ll give it to anybody. If they say they need it, it’s theirs.”

The generosity behind the drive has roots:  When Jung’s home burned down two years ago, the community stepped up to help. Now she tries to return the favour when she’s able.

“When we got everything, you have everything you need right now, when you’re in a place like that you need to give back,” she said.

So far, the results have been encouraging, and the proof’s in the excitement from young students sporting proper winter gear as temperatures fall.

“Kids learn through modelling. If they see us do things, they’re going to copy. And it makes them feel good when they see another kid happy.”


Nick Pearce

Nick Pearce is a writer and reporter in Yellowknife, looking for unique stories on the environment and people that make up the North. He's a graduate of Queen's University, where he studied Global Development...

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