Students of Stoke School sport their thermals donated by Elim Church. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Stoke kids given thermals for winter

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Students of Stoke Primary School will be feeling less of the winter chill thanks to the generosity of the Elim Christian Centre.

The school recently received more than 300 thermals from the church after they noticed some of the students were ill-equipped for the winter season.

Acting principal Sarah Davies says Elim Church have long been great supporters of the school, providing soup for lunches and helping maintain the gardens.

She says the donation of the thermals is just the “icing on the cake”.

“We are so impressed by the contributions Elim make to the school, these thermals will keep our pupils warm and keep them going for the rest of winter.”

Church pastor Maria Batchelar says they wanted to do something for every student as it’s important every child knows they are valued.

“We looked to see what we as a church could do for our community.”

Elim’s latest act of goodwill involved raising money for more than 300 Kathmandu long-sleeved thermal under-tops.

“We bought one each for the 266 students plus an extra 90 for the school to distribute.”

Maria says, because kids are always losing their clothes and some families can’t afford to replace them, some kids are left with just a short-sleeved top in winter.

“That leads to them getting sick and just not enjoying their education.”

Maria says it’s exciting to give the children the message that they are worth it.

“It’s more than a top, it shows that they are valuable, they are important and they are special.”

Elim make it a mission to be heavily involved with the Stoke community and primary school.

For the past eight years, during terms two and three, Elim has provided soup and a bun for students, a gesture that has been embraced by the school.

“A lot of them come to school on Monday without a lunch, now it’s part of the school culture,” Maria says.

She says they will continue to find ways to improve the lives of local children.

“We love to work with the community, that’s part of our heart.”

Elim also run a before and after school programme for students of Stoke School.
Maria says it’s great to remain involved in their lives as they grow.