A Christian school in Toronto recently raised funds and awareness for a centre that cares for people who are terminally ill.
Two Grade 11 students, Samantha Ufkes and April Dekkema, came up with the idea to support the centre.
“The idea evolved from a visit that those two girls made to the hospice,” says Justin De Moor, vice-principal of communications at Toronto District Christian School.
“They were just overwhelmed by what they saw … The hospice is a difficult place on many levels and they were just really overcome by that and thought we should do something to help and to support it.”
The students were particularly struck by the caliber of the staff at Hospice Vaughan.
“When we visited the hospice, we were amazed by the work they did and by the dedication of the staff who worked there,” says Ufkes. “We were inspired to help them.”
Ufkes and Dekkema organized the fundraiser along with members of their social justice class.
On Friday, June 8, all 450 students from the high school and over 20 staff participated in the five-kilometer walk.
“It was a great to see everybody walking and having a good time with it,” says Dekkema. “I am particularly glad that we could help the hospice in this way.”
De Moor points out that it’s quite unique for high school students to be raising thousands of dollars for an organization as well as for an entire school to pause its regular activities and allow for an hour and half of walking.
The local television network and several papers covered the event.
Hospice Vaughan is a visiting hospice that offers a range of services to clients who are terminally ill as well as to the recently bereaved. These include a day respite program, a homework club and support group for children grieving the loss of a loved one, and telephone counseling in crisis situations.