St. Joseph’s Adult School’s students and staff raised $1,237 and 20 bags of gently-used clothing to donate to the Salvation Army. Jade Mason, an ESL Instructor at St. Joseph’s, tries to model the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Spiritual Theme of “Gratitude, Rooted in Joy, Fills us with Hope, daily in her classroom. But even she was pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of support. Most of her students are immigrants and refugees with little to give but found a way to help those in need.
A Celebration of Generosity
A celebratory presentation was held to thank students and staff for their generosity and to present information on the Salvation Army’s two community vans and other housing services they provide to those experiencing homelessness. In speaking to her students at the special presentation celebrating the fundraising campaign Ms. Mason told her students, “That some people in Ottawa feel invisible, but your donations are like hugging them. Thanks to your contributions, the Salvation Army will be able to continue to help others struggling in our community.”
Making the OCSB Proud
Marianne Kayed, OCSB Manager of Continuing & Community Education, said many struggle more in the winter, and the student and staff donations will help some of Ottawa’s homeless people in their time of need. She congratulated Ms. Mason on how quickly she organized the event and offered genuine thanks to the students for thinking of others even as they dealt with their financial insecurities. “As a school community, the money you collected for the Salvation Army will help others, bringing joy and happiness, and that fills me with great pride and hope.” Marc Provost, Executive Director of the Salvation Army, also praised students and staff “We are very grateful to your school for your generous donation today.”
Together We are Better
In attendance were Ben Vallati – OCSB Superintendent of Continuing & Community Education, Salome Atandi – St. Joseph’s Adult Supervisor, Marc Provost – Executive Director of the Salvation Army, and two staff members from the Salvation Army Outreach Program. Students and staff learned a lot during the presentation about how their efforts and willingness to share with those less fortunate will be of help.