Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)

Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

After selling dozens of handmade arbutus berry necklaces in December, a group of 20 students from Oaklands Elementary in Victoria presented a cheque to the family of Leila Bui – the Saanich girl injured after being struck by a vehicle in 2017.

On March 1, the courtyard outside the school buzzed with excitement as the youngsters waited to meet Bui and present her family with more than $700 they’d raised through the necklace sale.

READ ALSO: Saanich students craft arbutus berry necklaces to fundraise for Leila Bui

For several weeks at the end of 2020, the Grade 4/5 students worked with vice-principal Amei Mai, their outdoor education teacher, to make necklaces out of arbutus berries to sell and raise money for Bui. The youngster, who was 11 at the time, was struck by a vehicle while in a crosswalk in December 2017. She thrown several metres and sustained serious head injuries. As a result, she now requires constant care and uses a wheelchair.

Mai was moved by Bui’s story and wanted to find a way for her students to lend a hand. She settled on the berry necklaces and, after several weeks of work, the students had made nearly 100 pieces of jewelry.

READ ALSO: Young Saanich philanthropist raises $31,031 for sick kids, folds thousands of paper cranes

The necklaces were sold for $5 each on the school’s website and while Mai was expecting the sale to raise $450, the donations continued to pour in after the necklaces were gone and pushed the total to $710.

Bui’s mom, Kairry Nguyen, explained that the funds will go towards purchasing a Hippocampe all-terrain wheelchair which will allow Leila to go on trails and beaches that she can’t access in her current chair. The Hippocampe will cost about $8,500 so the family is grateful for all the donations they’ve received.

“Anything that has to do with accessibility is very expensive,” Nguyen said, adding that they’ve been “totally overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support.

Not only did the students get a taste of philanthropy, but they also made a new friend. Mai noted that the kids had prepared questions to ask the family and that further conversation arose organically.

READ ALSO: Driver who left Saanich girl with catastrophic brain injuries sentenced to two years in prison

They wanted to know about her schooling, her room and her hobbies as well as her injuries, Mai explained, adding that their questions were quite personal but Bui’s family was very open about their story.

The afternoon became about “bridging the gap between what able-bodied people can do and what differently-abled people can do,” she said. “Kindness was the theme of the day” and the students truly embodied that.

Nguyen emphasized that the students’ curiosity was heartwarming because it was an opportunity to teach them that “it’s OK to be different” and that “Leila’s just another kid” who happens to face more obstacles than others.

Mai hopes the students will stay connected with Bui and that they’ll take what they learned during the fundraiser into adulthood.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

Greater Victoria School Districtsd61

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Oaklands Elementary’s Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle) after presenting her family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)

Oaklands Elementary’s Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle) after presenting her family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)

Just Posted

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Saanich police cruiser (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Road rage incident on Pat Bay Highway slows afternoon traffic: police

Several witnesses reported driver to police, school officer intercepted

Sooke plans to begin construction of the $4.9-million Church Road corridor project this summer. (Kevin Laird - Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke hopes to start Church Road Corridor project this summer

Road upgrade includes a roundabout, sidewalks, bike lanes and boulevards

Pacific Institution in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media file photo)
Inmate with ties to Victoria dies in Abbotsford institution

Brodie Bingley, who was sentenced for aggravated assault in Maple Ridge died April 13

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Most Read