The public school students of Straffordville (Canada) have collected more than 57,000 stamps to help raise money for an international aid group.
Since October, Straffordville Public School's Kindergarten to Grade 8 classes have been collecting stamps that Oxfam Canada hopes will be of great interest to those who make a hobby of hunting down rare pieces of postage.
"We're selling them to stamp collectors," said Emily Cammaert, a Grade 8 student. "The money they raise goes to help stop poverty."
Oxfam Canada champions basic human rights of those suffering through poverty and injustice, particularly in the Americas, the Horn of Africa, Southern Africa and Southeast Asia.
Teacher Deborah Kelliher said the grand total of stamps came to 57,750 once a core group of 10 students finished counting.
"I was really impressed with the school, student and community support for this initiative," Kelliher said. "Oxfam had this opportunity for us to give in a way that didn't cost us anything monetarily."
Kelliher said many of stamps donated were "just lying around the house."
"Some of them are very old stamps and some are very valuable stamps that will probably benefit Oxfam very much," Kelliher said.
Kelliher said the proceeds from the stamp sales will be used to buy food and medical supplies for those in need.
Until the stamps are all sold, Kelliher said it's difficult to say how much money they will raise for Oxfam.
"I know that the people involved were very excited about the older stamps," she said. "We had a lot of international stamps, a lot of stamps that came from the 1940s, 50s, 60s. I'm anticipating they are going to be quite valuable."
Members of the student council were part of the core group that helped coordinate the stamp collection.
"I really enjoyed doing this project because it's so easy," said Grade 8 student Genna Klassen. "Stamps don't cost anything. If you get them in the mail, you can just cut them out. It's just a great way to help the poor without having to do too much."
The elder students readily pointed out that some of the youngest students collected the most stamps in the school, bringing in large boxes full.
Kelliher said the core group of students spent many a lunch hour counting stamps instead of taking a breather from school work.