Charity fundraising is a fairly ordinary occurrence in today’s classrooms, but recently something rather extraordinary took place at a local Chestermere school.
Two weeks ago, St. Gabriel the Archangel took part in a district wide, one week fundraising initiative for Africa. Many African countries have been absolutely devastated by drought, famine, disease and war, and countless organizations have made it a priority to provide whatever help they can. One such organization is Doctors Without Borders, and the Calgary Separate School District chose this group to partner up with in their efforts to contribute to a solution for the people of Africa. Students at all CSSD schools were asked to help join the cause by forgoing one or two weekly expenditures, and instead donating that money to African relief. The students of St. Gabriel helped pitch in and did an incredible job raising money. One classroom, however, took the initiative to another level.
Challenged by their teacher Mr. Hing to make a difference, 16 grade 10 students set about trying to raise as much money as they could over a short 5 day period. When it was all said and done, Graham Albert, Luke Goodman, Jenny Hamilton, Marija Jukic, Jordan Maisonneuve, Josh Martin, Katie Maurer, Cole McLellan, Raenelle Mendoza, Jessica Mosca, Kaylee Olmedo, Rachel Patzer, Michael Tran, and Ashley Vieira, had collected over 900 dollars! “It was the least we should do”, proclaimed Goodman. Several of the students spent their evenings going door-to-door in the community to try to raise awareness, as well as money. “We are so lucky to live in a country that holds so many opportunities for us. Giving away a few nights of our week to raise money for Africa is the least we could do,” said McLellan. While many people feel overwhelmed by the enormity of global issues such as those found in Africa, these students were undeterred in their efforts. As Ms. Mendoza so eloquently stated, “though we may not be able to fix everything, I know we can fix some things. We can play a huge role, not only in our community, but around the world.”
In a time when many feel that young people have become more selfish, these students showed that such an assessment is both unfair and untrue. “I couldn’t imagine living through the situation that many people all over the world have to, and in my point of view, it should be in our conscience to help people who have less than us,” said Vieira. Many of the students were also quick to turn the credit for their accomplishments back on the community of Chestermere. Graham Albert was one of those students. “Our teacher challenged us, and thanks to the generosity of our community we were able to reach our goal in no time.” I think it’s safe to say that, if these students are any kind of reflection of our community and their generation, Chestermere will be in good hands for many years to come.