Press Releases


MONTREAL, FEBRUARY 12, 2016  – For the 14th consecutive year, students from nine schools across the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) participated in the Huggies Valentine’s Day Toy Basket and Card Drive.

Since 2003, the schools and the students have collected over 8,000 gifts and created over 1,500 gift baskets for the patients at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.

The project originated at Michelangelo International Academy in R.D.P. where Spiritual and Community Animator Vince Lacroce and Cycle I teacher Sonia Arnoldo worked together to bring some cheer to Sabrina Di Giandomenico. Sadly, Sabrina passed away from a brain tumour later that year, but the project continued in her memory.

Each basket contains new non-violent toys, games, books, and personalized Valentine's Day cards made by the students.

“Students spend the morning at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and connect with the patients by distributing toys, books, hand made cards and, of course, lots of smiles,” said Mr.  Lacroce. “Annually, they bring joy and comfort to the children and families. Children are helping children in the best way they know how: by bringing a smile to everyone's face. We are all one united family.”

“The goal of the project is to spread the messages of joy, love, hope and community spirit to children who are ill in our community,” said Rocco Speranza, another Spiritual and Community Animator. “Over the years, the students have gained respect for others, themselves and continue to grow in community spirit making them more compassionate, and caring citizens. This is one of the goals of the Spiritual and Community Animation Service.”

Students from Rosemount High School, Vincent Massey Collegiate and Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount; Perspectives I & II High Schools in St. Michel; Dalkeith Elementary School in Anjou; Edward Murphy Elementary School in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve; Gerald McShane Elementary School in Montreal North and East Hill Elementary School in R.D.P participated in this year’s drive.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213