Step One: Care, Step Two: Act.
When you go on a Hero Holiday you cannot help but become completely attached to the people you meet along the way. Probably because these people undeniably touch your heart in one way or another.Around this time last year I applied for a trip to the Dominican Republic; not knowing anyone. Closer to the departure date I found out that a peer from my High School, Sarah Mens, was also attending the trip. At the time we hardly knew each other.When we returned to Canada, Sarah and I were in agreement that we could not continue living a typical Canadian lifestyle. Together we came up with some ideas of how to get the community involved and raise money for the people we met on our trip.When September rolled around Sarah and I approached our Principle with a crafty power point presentation and a list of some cool ideas. Unknowing that we were trying to establish a group in our school that already existed, Social Justice. (It’s a good thing too. After all our school was named after Lester Pearson a Noble Peace Prize winner.)Anyways… we instantaneously joined Social Justice and brought forward our cause. There were many other students with various causes, so we initiated a vote. To our surprise the students agreed with us that this was indeed a superb cause and although each cause was equally important and deserving the votes were without a doubt in favor for HUGS.We were truly excited and the planning began. We have organized lots of fun fundraisers within our school since. Some examples are Guitar-Hero Fridays, Valentine’s Day Raffle, Easter Raffle, Music Entertainment, Talent Shows, Bake Sales, Pin Sales, A Penny Drive, Awareness Days and the biggest of all our School Charity Fashion Show, which also included a 50/50 draw and a Silent Auction.The Charity Fashion Show was organized by two very devoted teachers Mrs. Galley and Mrs. Spencer, plus five main graduating students, Krista Sharpe, Nia Pavesi, Alicya Samuels, Michelle Cochrane, and Jen Bozak. We had three great MC’s including Sarah Mens, Rebecca Strauss and Jordan Gray plus a crew of 45.It was a lot of fun practicing and presenting our work to the community, friends, family and special guests such as Christal Earle, however, it was not a simple production to put together. This event took us months of hard work by both students and teachers. Stress was inevitable because the teachers, organizers and crew were so incredibly adamant that the show would be perfect. These organizers cared so much and spent every last hour tweaking the production and in the end their caring really showed because it was a fabulous show. I thank you all for your hard work.There are so many ways we can get involved and make a difference as individuals, so many that sometimes you don’t even know what’s out there. You just need to care enough to show up and participate. I encourage everyone, young and old, to get involved because it is the first step to a better future for everyone and when you look back on your life you can feel gratitude that you got involved and took a chance.-Danielle Clouse, Lester B Pearson High School, Burlington ON