Scott Clouthier crafts Christmas cards while his cat, Phil, supervises. Photo: Leanne Clouthier
Elves in Hay River are busy crafting cards for the town’s children. They call it Project Elf Ears.
The aim is for every student in Hay River and on the K’atl’odeeche First Nation Reserve – from kindergarten to Grade 7 – to receive a handmade holiday card this year.
Leading the project is Scott Clouthier, who works at Princess Alexandra Middle School (and also hosts Cabin Radio’s Southside).
“We talk a lot about how the holiday season is stressful, and depressing, and it causes a lot of mental health issues for adults – but it’s also not easy on young people,” Clouthier said, adding there’s extra stress with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I thought: what’s a way we can do something to help young people feel more loved and valued?”
Clouthier hopes the cards will remind youth they’re loved and valued. He said many people had expressed support for the project.
Much like Santa Claus, Clouthier can’t do it alone. There are around 350 youth at schools in the community.
Thankfully, several elves are offering their help.
Clouthier recently created a Facebook group for Project Elf Ears and 38 people have so far joined. He said Woodland Manor, Hay River’s long-term care facility, has expressed interest in helping.
“Some of my Grade 5 students have been helping me out, too,” he added.
“They might get their own cards back, but I appreciate the help.”