Kyla van-Eyden/Staff reporter
For many families, the holiday season is a joyous time of spending time with your loved ones, giving and receiving gifts, and enjoying an abundance of good food. However, the holidays can also bring on an exceptional amount of stress and shame for low-income families. Groups of motivated students at Gleneagle took on fundraising endeavours to do their part.
“My mom works two jobs and struggles to save enough money for small presents for my siblings and I. So I feel embarrassed to ask for something more than ten dollars worth for Christmas,” a Gleneagle student explained.
Over 840,000 Canadians seek help from a food bank every month, and almost two in five are children and youth. The leadership class has organized a food drive to support families in the community who are going through financial difficulties.
The food drive has been running since December 9, and friday is the last day to get your donations in. You can bring food or cash donations to your block three class. If you don’t have a block three class, donations can be dropped off in the library.
“People who go to food banks are the people who really need help, and I want to help in any way I can. Donating food is a really easy way to help them if you don’t have the time for volunteer work,” Marina Attalla, grade 11, commented.
Gleneagle has also reached beyond only helping our local community, and is fundraising for global efforts as well. Globally, around 1.9 billion people’s access to clean drinking water is being threatened by climate change.
Key Club hosted a bake sale with proceeds going towards the Thirst Project to support those who struggle with access to clean water. The bake sale took place December 10 through 12 during lunch at the Kiosk. The International Key Club organization partnered with The Thirst Project for a fundraising campaign.
The average distance that someone in a developing community walks to fetch water is 6 km, carrying a can of water weighing forty-four pounds. Because the water collecting task usually falls on women and children, their financial contributions to their families and ability to go to school is directly affected.
264 million children across the globe are unable to go to school due to multiple barriers, including the gap in financial stability, gender, and location. The richest three and four year-olds are five times more likely to receive early childhood education than the poorest children of the same age.
Sixty-six percent of all countries have reached gender equal access to elementary education. In an effort to help improve this conflict, Me to We club sold fairtrade coffee in the foyer before block 1 on December 9 through 13, specifically fundraising towards building a school in Kenya.
Helping out doesn’t just mean donating or gifting, offering your time through volunteer work is also an option.
Interested in helping out? The Greater Vancouver Food Bank offers volunteering opportunities, such as food sorting in groups. There are thirteen locations across the Greater Vancouver area. The Salvation Army also needs assistance through volunteering in their shelters, food banks, churches, thrift stores, social service centres and more. They have twenty locations from Coquitlam to Vancouver.
If you’d rather donate, a good opportunity is bringing an unwrapped toy or cash donation to the Toy Mountain drop off location at Uptown Shopping Centre. There’s no shortage of ways to support those struggling in our community this season.