The St. Mary’s French Immersion Catholic school’s sports teams are nicknamed the Sharks, and in non-sporting activities, they are voracious when it comes to helping those in need. So far in the current school year, the school has collected over $15,000 for various fundraisers.
The school’s most recent event, a Ford Drive 4UR Community fundraiser, garnered $5,240 toward a goal of $10,000 to build a health clinic for a community in Kenya. Ford Canada matched the funds raised during the one-day event and directed them to the Fort McMurray relief effort.
“The Ford Drive event was a great way to raise money for our health clinic in Kenya and the people of Fort McMurray,” said Grade 7 student, Sienna Valente-Boateng.
“I liked the event because it helped multiple people, was family friendly and great for everyone,” said Grade 7 student, Aurora Anderson.
“The students live out our school and board mission statements by helping those in need. While they have a lot of fun during these events, it is the life lessons and sense of purpose they acquire that will inspire them to continue to respond to those in need throughout their lives,” said St. Mary’s French Immersion Principal, Colleen Hannah.
The Me to We team, under the guidance of teacher, Anick Champagne, is the driving force behind the fundraising projects. Students have thought up and planned a few of the events, including the ‘KM for Kenya’ run-walk which will be held for the third year in a row on Saturday, May 28, 2016.
“Every year, I am amazed at how committed the students are when they become aware of the local and global issues. They never hesitate when asked to participate. That is something that makes me proud and that they should be proud of as well,” said Champagne.
“As a member of the Me to We team, I have learned that students can take a leadership role in changing the world and making it a better place,” said Grade 7 student, Calista Jones.
Prior to Christmas, St. Mary’s helped three local families by raising $2,600 in its Change for Change Advent campaign.
In April, the school’s ‘We Are Silent’ fundraiser, where students took a vow of silence for 24 hours, resulted in another $2,600 collected. In May, their Walk for Justice collected funds to help the Ecuador earthquake relief cause. That event was particularly close to their hearts, as a schoolmate is a native of Ecuador.
While many of the fundraisers at the school are geared to raise funds for projects in Kenya (previous donations helped build a school and well for water), the school community also assists in drives to stock local food banks and other fundraisers to help those in need.
Thanks to the Me to We team, the St. Mary’s French Immersion Sharks are always on the attack to fight for those who are in need.