Students Across BC Send Art, Books and Maps to Lytton Students – Smithers Interior News

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A year after a wildfire ripped through Lytton, children at local Stein Valley Nlakapamux school have received care kits and messages from peers across the province.

At the end of June, each child in the school received a card with personalized artwork made by those in Burnaby, Port Coquitlam, Vernon, Maple Ridge and Qualicum Beach, along with a few books for summer reading.

The packages were part of Art from the heart, a project led by retired children’s artist and programmer Diane Moran,

Moran, who now lives in Qualicum Beach, has used art as a medium after natural disasters since 2005, when Hurricane Katrina devastated parts of the United States.

Moran’s previous projects typically featured large banners to elevate the communities they were sent to, however, the art of the heART program provides a more individualized connection between the person making the card and its recipient.

The cards all feature a standard pre-written message and artwork on the back, drawn by the sender, Moran told Black Press Media.

“In times of crisis, it’s good to know that there is someone out there who is thinking of you.”

Also an avid reader, Moran has partnered with Scholastic Canada to send books to affected communities. The society agreed to match Moran’s donation, and they collectively donated $800 worth of books to Lytton’s children.

“Books can be an escape in times like these,” Moran said. “But [they] can also be lost quite easily in fires and floods.

As the frequency and intensity of natural disasters continue to increase, Moran hopes to build a stash of books and maps to send to victims of natural disasters immediately after they occur.

In addition to delivering the packages to Lytton, Moran has worked with BC Airlift Emergency Response Operations, an emergency rescue services organization, to create a collection of materials that can be dispatched quickly and efficiently in times of crisis.

Those interested in supporting Moran’s work can visit him website or email him at [email protected]

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