Manitoba siblings recognized for helping fill hundreds of sandbags to protect friends' home

Avery and Natalie Friesen were the youngest community volunteers to help fill and stack sandbags at a home in their community. (Image Source Rhonda Friesen)

A Manitoba brother and sister duo have been honoured by their school for pitching in to protect their friends’ home from rising floodwaters.

Avery, 11, and Natalie Friesen, 8, spent two afternoons filling sandbags to keep water away from their friends’ home near Rosenort, Man.

The family was evacuated to Winnipeg, Man. and called for help from the community with sandbagging efforts.

The siblings sprang into action, joining the community in filling 450 sandbags over two days. They were the youngest volunteers in the group.

“The water was going over their whole yard,” Natalie remembered.

“It was close to their driveway and it flooded their barn,” Avery chimed in.

The duo said volunteering was fun. The best part? Natalie liked climbing the giant hill made of sand and Avery liked filling the sandbags up, but not hauling them to the truck.

“That part was just so heavy,” he said.

The Friesens’ hard work paid off in more ways than one. Rosenort School named the siblings the RedHawks of the Week, noting the two worked tirelessly while remaining cheerful and encouraging.

Your RedHawks of the Week are Avery and Natalie Friesen! Earlier this week, these two Hawks were some of the first to arrive and pitch in with sandbagging a friend's home to protect it from the flood waters.

— Rosenort School (@Rosenort_School) May 9, 2022

The kids’ mom Rhonda Friesen said she was excited they were recognized for their hard work.

“They just did it willingly. They didn't do it for any recognition, but it's always nice when they get recognized for something like that,” she said.

While the siblings still have sore arms from the sandbag blitz, they said they would do it again.

“It’s fun ‘cause you get to help other people,” Natalie said.

“It’s hard work, but you get the job done,” Avery agreed.