School communities across Waterloo Region District School Board were incredibly generous during the holiday season – raising funds and awareness for causes throughout our community.
In December 2018, WRDSB highlighted some of the efforts of our schools with the ‘12 Days of Giving’ campaign. Each day of the campaign featured a school, students, or community initiative that demonstrated giving, kindness, teamwork, or selflessness.
Students created and submitted their winter artwork for #Art4WEFI. Twelve pieces were selected to be featured and sold in a pack of greeting cards and the money raised supports the Waterloo Education Foundation Inc. (WEFI). Cards were sold through the WRDSB’s Education Centre.
The entire Laurelwood Public School community came together to raise $5,619 in one day to support the Kitchener Conestoga Rotary Club turkey drive in partnership with House of Friendship. They also learned about social responsibility and empathy throughout the week by collecting items for Anselma House, Monica Place, YMCA’s Newcomer Support and Bright Lights programs, One ROOF, House of Friendship, Ray of Hope, and Foodbank of Waterloo Region
An incredible show of community support for Keatsway Public School was shown through food donations to their inaugural Community Dinner. All canned and boxed items for the meal were provided by parents, and the turkeys and potatoes were bought and cooked by staff. It was an opportunity for the entire school community to join together and enjoy a hot meal.
Throughout the year, consultants in the learning services department made weekly donations as part of a “dress-down Friday fund.” The contributions went to a variety of causes in the community. During the holidays, more than $300 was raised for Family and Children’s Services Support Program to support three youth.
Students at Manchester Public School created a special campaign to help with the Cambridge Firefighters’ Basketfund, which collects food and toys for families in need. The school was able to collect more than 30 full boxes of non-perishable food.
Breslau Public School gave back by participating in the annual Toy Mountain campaign. Ms. White’s 6A class and Mr. Wade’s student leadership club ran a toy drive, which collected more than 800 items, including toys, puzzles, games, gift cards, and even two bicycles.
Brigadoon Public School families donated gently used household items, toys, and books. The students sorted the donated items and priced them between 25 cents to $3.00. They then invite their schoolmates to come and shop. The sale raised $2,213.65 for Sunbeam Lodge, a residential facility in Kitchener for medically fragile young people. Students hope to visit Sunbeam Lodge in the future to see how their donations are being used.
The Angel Tree provided a list of items to Elmira District Secondary School (EDSS) students that were needed by the Woolwich Community Services Christmas Goodwill program. Students collected donation items such as books, toys, games and sports equipment, as well as $372 to buy gift cards.
Students at Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School (KCI) put on a free holiday feast for members of the greater school community who struggle to make ends meet. More than 500 hot meals were served and students worked with St. John’s Kitchen and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church to hand out tickets.
Students at Clemens Mill Public School were dressed in holiday colours as they worked out and danced to support the Cambridge Self-Help Food Bank. The food bank gave the school profiles of 15 families in need and each classroom supported a family by donating items on a wish list or making a donation with a gift card or cash. The school filled 22 bins with items and donated $1,400 to help the families.
Students at Waterloo Collegiate Institute (WCI) worked for a month to collect $7,250 worth of items for Monica Place and Women’s Crisis Services of Waterloo Region. “It’s about giving back to the community and sharing in that time of need,” said Megan Fish, a Grade 12 student director of the student life council.
Colleen and Anthony Lessard live in Kitchener with their five children – Paige (13), Lindsay (10), Bryson (9), Lily (6) and Remington (4). Lindsay has Epilepsy, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and is medically fragile, Bryson has educational disabilities, and Lily has mild Cerebral Palsy. Students at Huron Height Secondary School (HHSS) wanted to help and worked hard to fundraise through school events, including hosting a massive charity auction in the school’s library. At the end of their campaign, they were pleased to present the Lessard family with a cheque for $7,200 and $1,000 gift card to Great Wolf Lodge.