It has been a busy but rewarding semester for Grade 12 students from Hugh Boyd Secondary School’s social justice class.
On Tuesday, students from the class presented a $1,250 cheque to Mykhailo Ozorovych, a Ukrainian Canadian pastor of Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in New Westminster.
The donation came from eight weeks of hard work by 28 students, who raised the money through weekly bake sales.
“Students created their own donut and cotton candy sale kiosk with a trifold display poster to highlight the fundraising sale and the importance of the cause…Sometimes, they even hustled for every fundraising dollar right up until and sometimes a little after the end of lunch bell,” said Michael Taylor, Hugh Boyd Secondary teacher.
According to Taylor, all proceeds will be donated to the Cathedral as part of a special fund to support displaced Ukrainians settling down in the Lower Mainland.
After coming across “emotionally stirring” news coverage about Ukraine, Taylor said all students in the class began brainstorming about what they could do to help.
“I think getting kids involved in service-learning has always been a big part of my educational philosophy. And I think students are finding that rewarding and I hope that it creates a sense of emotional meaning for them and gives them a sense of purpose for later in life to want to contribute to the community,” said Taylor.
Meanwhile, Taylor said he is also grateful that father Ozorovych sat down with two students for a podcast interview for the social justice class. Ozorovych talked about the current situation in Ukraine, his own immigration journey, and his church’s mission in welcoming Ukrainians to the province.
The podcast was edited by students and is now online.
Ozorovych said in the podcast he felt uplifted and encouraged to see community members willing to sacrifice the comfort of their own lives by donating money to Ukrainians.
In addition to that, the India Culture Centre of Canada Gurdwara Nanak Niwas on Richmond’s Highway to Heaven donated $30,000 to United Sikhs, an international non-profit organization that set up camps in Poland to help Ukrainians flee the war.
“We set up booths at the culture centre and many donors were so generous to help out. It’s inspiring to see our community members make a difference in the world,” said Balwant Sanghera, president of the Indian Culture Centre.