For the past 15 years London District Christian Secondary School (LDCSS) has been partnering with the London and Area Youth for Christ (YFC) to help the needy.
The YFC ministry runs an annual Christmas campaign called SCROOGE (Students Christmas Rush for Oodles and Oodles of Goodies Etc) to collected canned goods, which are then distributed in the Salvation Army’s annual Christmas hampers to people in need.
Students from area high schools, including LDCSS, participate by going door to door in designated neighbourhoods to collect the canned goods.
Principal Henry Kooy says LDCSS probably has the highest per capita participation rate as typically about 90 per cent of students take part in the SCROOGE event.
“It’s become a tradition for the school,” says Kooy, noting that because most of the students are bussed in, they stay at the school for the afternoon and evening and the campaign turns into an all-out social gathering. The students go bowling and have a pizza supper together before canvassing for a few hours in the evening.
Last year the school collected about 5,000 cans. This year’s event will be taking place December 5.
Kooy says activities like the SCROOGE campaign provide opportunities for students to live out the school’s mission of being in service.
“Our mission statement is to fit our students with an education which integrates Christian faith, learning and living through a life of Christian service,” says Kooy. “So we feel very strongly that our kids are here to serve in one form or another.”
The SCROOGE campaign has brought in over half a million cans in the last five years.
LDCSS has also been partnering with the London District Food Bank for the past 20 years. Every year the food bank runs a spring food drive. Paper grocery bags are distributed through a city newspaper, the London Free Press, for people to fill with canned goods and return to the food bank.
In preparation for the drive, the school’s 300-plus students fold over 90,000 paper bags so that they can be inserted into each newspaper.
About once a month the school also offers its services to the local street mission to help with serving meals and socializing with the people who come to the mission.