Every year, Sacred Heart Academy (SHA) students undertake "good works projects" to give back to the community however they can, and the grade six students organized the school's annual Easter/Lent food drive. Setting a goal of 850 items, the students worked to raise awareness and create a friendly competition in the school to see who could raise more, and their efforts helped the total donation go beyond what they hoped, with 985 items raised.
SHA Administrative Assistant Patti Van Bavel said getting students involved and organizing initiatives like this is not only a great learning experience, but also a fun and unique way to get involved in the community.
"They work really well together and they get everyone involved. It's great to help make everyone aware that there's a great need in our community."
This is just one of many good works projects done by SHA students, as other students earlier this week went around town cleaning up the streets by picking up garbage. In the past, other initiatives like Mission Mexico and collecting coats to donate for the Community Coat mission. Beyond the obvious benefit of helping the community during these projects, Van Bavel says having the students organize and participate also teaches them the benefits of supporting the community at a young age.
"They continue to give back as they grow older and they teach their kids and it's good to teach them that it's not all about them. There's a bigger picture and it just makes your heart so happy to help people and that's what it should be."
The SHA food drive happens twice a year: once during Advent/ Christmas time and the other during Easter/ Lent. Given that this is an annual event Van Bavel said we can expect the donations to keep coming as the grade six students will always prepare and organize the food drive.