London

Lucan, Ont., mom makes goodie bags for kids after Halloween plans cancelled amid COVID outbreak

A Lucan, Ont., mom is trying to cheer up kids in the community after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at their elementary school.

Wilberforce Public School in Lucan, Ont., currently has 5 active cases of COVID-19

Tarin Pestowka with her kids getting the treats ready for Halloween (Submitted by Tarin Pestowka)

A Lucan, Ont., mom is doing her part to cheer up kids in the community after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared at their elementary school. The outbreak required kids who came into close contact to isolate for 10 days, halting any plans for the first somewhat normal Halloween since the start of the pandemic. 

After hearing about this outbreak on Thursday night, Tarin Pestowka felt she needed to boost morale. The mother of two kids who attend Wilberforce Public School where five students have tested positive, decided to make goodie bags filled with treats for those who can't go trick-or-treating. They include snacks and colouring books, with labels that say "Happy Halloween, we're thinking of you." 

While her own kids didn't have to isolate, Pestowka felt it was really unfair to those who were looking forward to Halloween all year long to be unable to celebrate. 

"These kids have been through so much over the past year, and some of them are quite young and it's hard for them to grasp when they've been following all the rules, and now they're told they're not allowed to trick-or-treat," Pestowka said. 

"I thought, if these were my kids who had to isolate, this is what we'd want others to do for our kids." 

Tarin Pestowka with the treats she plans to put in a goodie bag to deliver to kids in the Lucan, Ont. Community (Submitted by Tarin Pestowka)

Wilberforce is currently has 5 active cases of COVID-19, according to the Thames Valley District School Board. An outbreak is declared if a facility has 2 or more active cases. 

 An Outpouring of Support

Pestowka took to a community Facebook group to ask for people to confidentially share their addresses so she and her friends can drop off the goodie bags. She thought she would receive a couple messages and it would be a really simple process.

Less than 24 hours later, Pestowka received about 60 responses and over 200 likes and shares on her post.

"People were reaching out wanting to donate and help deliver treats, some of the people reaching out didn't even have kids, they just wanted to help...it's been really awesome." 

Pestowka is hearing lots of feedback from grateful parents. She finds that this is equally as hard on parents as it is for the kids.

"Being a mom, it really broke my heart, I can't imagine telling my kids they can't go trick-or-treating after they've chosen their costumes," she added. "These kids count down for exciting events like this everyday and it's so hard to break this to them."

Pestowka and her friends will deliver the bags to kids on Halloween Day. She hopes that this can bring a smile to the kids' faces. 

now