Volume 12 Week 5

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Commentary
Student philanthropy alive and well in Orléans

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Today’s snapchatting, Internet surfing, YouTube watching younger generation is often criticized for being lazy, apathetic and self-absorbed, but a couple of events this past week prove otherwise.

At St. Peter High School in Fallingbrook, students raided their parents’ pantries, cupboards and refrigerators to pilfer whatever items that could find for the school’s food drive.

By the time the drive wrapped up, they had amassed over 31,000 items for the Orléans-Cumberland Community Resource Centre foodbank, as well as more than $2,000 in cash donations and gift cards.

In terms of the food items, it averages out to more than 15 items per student.

The students and staff at St. Petes have been conducting the annual food drive since 1997 and it has been an absolute godsend for the foodbank which has come to count on the drive to keep its shelves stalked during the summer months.

Without the school’s contribution, the foodbank would be hard-pressed to meet the community’s needs.

Another important fundraising event that took place last week was Cairine Wilson Secondary School’s 12-hour Relay for Life which generated over $81,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. The number is impressive enough on its own, but when you realize Cairine Wilson has less than 800 students, or about one-third that of St. Petes, it is truly awe-inspiring.

Similarly impressive fundraising events are held at every high school in the east end – organized, managed and supported by the students and none of them get much credit for it, especially in the media which is too busy reporting on the odd transgression and malfeasance perpetrated by a small minority of youth, rather than the many initiatives which have a direct and positive impact on our community.

Orléans and the community at large would be a lot worse off without the selfless and generous contributions of our students, and for that we should all be tremendously grateful.

(Updated 12:30 p.m., May 20)

 

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