The Comox Valley Record: EDAS: Teaching compassion to the Valley youth

Terry Farrell

Record staff

Twelve years ago, Chantal Stefan and three friends came up with an idea, while living in Edmonton.

The four of them baked up some sugar cookies, wrote notes on little pieces of construction paper, added a pair of socks and put all the contents into little Christmas bags. They made 88 bags, went down the back alleys of downtown Edmonton, right before Christmas, and hung the bags where people would see them and pick them up.

“They all disappeared overnight, and Everybody Deserves a Smile was born,” said Stefan. “We had no intention of it ever being more than just being in that moment. But it has grown ever since.”

Stefan now lives in Cumberland, and teaches at École Puntledge Park Elementary School. When she moved to the Island, she brought the EDAS concept with her. The project is no longer active in its Alberta birthplace, but it has flourished in the Comox Valley. 

“This is the eighth year for the program here,” said Stefan. “We have 10 schools working with us this year, all collecting donations and making cookies and painting bags and making cards. I can’t get over how big it has become.”

For the full article, visit the Comox Valley Record post here.