For the past month, Grade 11 and 12 students at Sheldon Williams Collegiate have been raising awareness and money for those experiencing homelessness in the community.
The leadership class launched the You Are Home campaign.
“It’s a student-led initiative. They wanted to raise money for Carmichael Outreach and also just spread the word on what an issue homelessness is getting to become in our city,” Tara Quine, the leadership teacher, said
Quine said when they were trying to select a community issue to focus on during the winter, homelessness appeared to be the most discussed.
“There was a lot of talk in the city around the homelessness camps and just people really struggling in our city to find a warm place to sleep. The students just wanted to respond to that crisis,” she said.
Students formed teams to collect fundraising pledges. This week, they’re enjoying five days of activities to keep conversations going, celebrate their hard work and continue raising more money.
Wednesday afternoon they took part in an outdoor carnival which included a dunk tank, slip and slide and an inflatable obstacle course.
“Getting everyone in the school has just been a really good opportunity and they’ve really come together to help out a good cause,” grade 12 student Jetta Crone said.
Many students say over the past few months, they’ve learned more than they anticipated.
“Homelessness affects everyone,” grade 12 student Michael Baiton said. “Whether it’s directly or indirectly, everyone knows someone who’s either been affected by homelessness, poverty or food insecurity.”
For some, it has also highlighted how lucky they are.
“We noticed that it’s really a growing issue and it’s increasing really rapidly. We understand we’re really privileged to be able to have a roof over our heads and to take part in activities like this,” Madison Ross, a grade 12 student, said.
As of Wednesday, the students had raised about $6,000 for Carmichael Outreach.
Their goal is to raise $10,000 by the end of the week.