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Kindness comes full circle at Rendell

By December 16, 2022No Comments
Kindness pays off. Rendell Park Elementary School teacher Stephanie Hurd, left, received a $2,000 donation from Trevor (Grinch) and Amanda Wilhauk, who own Wilhauk Beef Jerky in Spruce Grove, to thank Hurd’s students for supporting one of their projects. They also provided pizza for every student one day last week. Geoff Lee Meridian Source

 

Acts of kindness tend to become contagious at this time of the year thanks to social media and seasonal goodwill.

Rendell Park Elementary School caught the bug recently thanks to teacher Stephanie Hurd.

A few years ago she started reading Facebook posts out loud to her class about 12 Days of Giving projects carried out by Amanda and Trevor Wilhauk in Spruce Grove, where they own Wilhauk Beef Jerky.

“So, every day, I would read and I would cry at some and some had a heartwarming end—and just so enjoyable. I feel like a lot of us have a lot, and it’s best to give,” said Hurd.

“We would talk in class about how grateful we are and people that are less fortunate.”

A couple of years ago Hurd’s students sent Christmas cards and $10 each to help the Wilhauk family provide for three needy families in their area.

The deed prompted the couple to pay it forward to the entire school with the delivery of free pizzas from Papa John’s and a presentation to Hurd at a school assembly last week.

Amanda’s husband dressed as the Grinch to the delight of the youngsters.

“The reason we are here today is because I found out there is a teacher in Lloydminster that reads our posts every single morning to her class,” said Amanda.

“So, she’s teaching you guys about kindness and she’s spreading kindness.”

She went on to speak about the impact of receiving those Christmas cards and money from students, donated by Hurd and her former afternoon teaching partner, Scott Lyons, before he retired.

“I was just so floored by the fact there was a teacher teaching and sharing all this kindness. I was so amazed,” said Amanda.

“We are so busy in December and that stopped me right in my tracks. We read every single handwritten note from the students so thank you so much.”

She and Trevor took the opportunity to present Hurd with a cheque for $2,000 for her to spread more kindness locally.

“I’m allowed to spread it to whomever I want to and I’m going to choose the Lloydminster HUB of Healing,” said Hurd.

“They’re actually going to come and speak to all Grade 6 students on Thursday morning (Dec. 7).”

Hurd says it is all so amazing for her and the school.

“It’s very special to be recognized in this way,” she said.

School principal, Sheldon Gallagher, says the event is likely the highlight of the entire school year.

“It’s pretty cool and it’s neat to see how many connections there are amongst people. Social media really helps draw that out,” he said.

“It’s a pretty amazing sign of kindness from that family.”

Trevor the Grinch calls Hurd a fantastic lady. 

“I like everything she does,” noting the timing of her school’s donation a couple of years ago to one of their 12 Days of Giving projects to spread kindness.

“It’s important year-round, but this seems to be the bigger time of need for people.”

Gallagher also gave a shoutout to Hurd, who can continue to spread kindness with the cheque donation. 

“She’s already continuing her journey of giving back and it’s pretty special,” he said.

“She’s a good staff member and a good person in the community. I am very proud of her.”

Trevor noted he is no stranger to Lloydminster, having some family members here and some recreational ties.

“Growing up playing hockey, I played a few tournaments here and my son’s had a few tournaments here as well,” he said.

Trevor’s dad and uncles started the business in Leduc more than 50 years ago and Amanda recently opened their second location in the West Edmonton Mall. 

They originally started 12 Days of Giving to thank customers for coming to their store.