MONTREAL, JANUARY 25, 2013 - This year marks the 10th anniversary of Huggies Valentine's Day toy basket and card drive for the Montreal Children's Hospital and Autism Clinic of Montreal.
The project originated at Michelangelo International Academy in RDP where Spiritual Community Animator Vince Lacroce and Cycle I teacher Sonia Arnoldo came together to bring some cheer to Sabrina Di Giandomenico. She was a brain tumor patient at the Montreal Children's Hospital. It expanded to four East End EMSB schools, with the goal of creating Valentine's Day gift baskets for all of the children at the hospital.
The Huggies baskets contained new non-violent toys, games, books, and personalized Valentine's Day cards made by the students. This year students from 11 schools ( Laurier Macdonald, Pierre de Coubertin Elementary, Dante Elementary, General Vanier Daycare, John Paul I High School, Edward Murphy Elementary, Gerald McShane Daycare, Vincent Massey Collegiate, St Raphael, Mountainview and East Hill Elementary) continued the project in memory of Sabrina Di Giandomenico. She passed away from a brain tumor in the summer of 2003. The schools' combined efforts were able to raise over 15,000 gifts and over 1,500 personalized baskets for the young patients at the hospital. Over the past nine years, the Huggies Valentine’s Day project has generated over $120,000 worth of gifts and toys for sick children.
Each February 14, school administrators, students, and parent volunteers from these schools gather together and personally greet these patients with their new gifts. "I would like to congratulate all of the school administrators, students, teachers, and parents who made this project a success," said Mr. Lacroce. "An honourable mention must also go to Spiritual Community Animator Rocco Speranza, who spearheaded his cluster of schools in this tradition and helped in the distribution of gifts."