April 21, 2016
Tasked with a “pay it forward” assignment in their grade 10 civics class at North Middlesex District High School, Ethan Porter, Kurtis Twynstra and Bret Timmermans seized the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.
The students assembled three baskets, two for children and one for adults, with hand lotions, socks, hats, puzzles, novels and colouring books and delivered them to the London Regional Cancer Program. “We wanted to help make patients feel comfortable during their treatment,” says Ethan Porter. They also assembled two flower pots decorated with lollipops and paid for all the items with money they earned working on a farm.
The assignment held a deeper meaning for the students as well. Each of the students was able to share the name of someone close to them affected by cancer. In 2010, Nicole Pow, a friend of Twynstra’s mom, died of colon cancer. During her treatment, Pow received the help of friends and family and she wanted to help others by starting a website encouraging random acts of kindness. Although she was never able to fulfill her wish, Pow’s mother started the Facebook page “Random Acts of Kindness in Memory of Nicole,” and the students are adding to her legacy.
“It feels good to pay it forward and to help others,” says Timmermans. “A little effort and time can go a long way to help someone else.”