Published online at GlobalTVEdmonton.com on February 10, 2011.
Linda Hoang, Global News: Thursday, February 10, 2011
Local girl back in school thanks to help from Edmontonians
It was the first day of school all over again for one local girl on Thursday morning, thanks to an outpour of help from Edmontonians.
What started out as a plea to the city for help clearing a sidewalk, has turned into a story of Edmontonians reaching out to help a girl and her grandmother in need.
Grade 1 student Monica hadn’t been to school since before Christmas.
She lives with her wheelchair-bound grandmother Frances Preston, who hasn’t been able to take Monica to school because of all the snow and ice.
Since their story aired on Global Edmonton, viewers came together to help get the six-year-old back in class.
“It feels like her first day,” Preston said on Thursday. “I know she’ll do good and she’ll be excited and the kids will be excited to see her.”
Several Global viewers including members of the Edmonton Police Service’s Neigbourhood Empowerpment Team came to clear snow and ice from the family’s sidewalk and dozens more offered to walk or drive Monica to school.
After interviewing those volunteers, Preston chose Rossana, who lives nearby, to drive Monica to school each day.
“I said if I can do it, I can do it. I’m willing to help,” Rossana said. “I’m glad I can help Monica and her grandmother and that she way she can go to school and keep on learning.”
Armed with a black and pink Tinkerbell backpack, school agenda, and lunch, Monica excitedly made her way back to school.
“I’m happy today that I can go back to school,” Monica said.
Rossana says she’ll drive Monica to school for as long as needed, an offer a number of people in the community had also made.
It’s something Preston says she’s extremely grateful for.
“People were showing their true feelings and compassion,” Preston said. “It really showed me that people really cared. It’s so hard to express, I’ve been so overwhelmed by the generosity.”
With files from Shane Jones