Holiday Hero gifts make season brighter for young people

The boys of St. Andrew’s College once again helped make the holiday season brighter for more than 100 young people in the care of the Children’s Aid Society (CAS).
Clothing, housewares, gift cards, and other presents were brought to the School over a span of a few weeks. The donations were stacked up in the basement of Memorial Chapel under the watchful eye of Melissa Tackaberry, Upper School math teacher and coordinator of the Holiday Hero program that has supported youth in the care of the York Region CAS for the past 13 years. These are young men and women who live on their own, reside in group homes, or are away at school and don’t have family to rely on.
Each advisory group had selected young people to assist, and the boys purchased specific gifts as well as necessities, which ranged from clothing to kitchen appliances to baby items.
“As a result of everyone's combined efforts, we were able to help 112 youth aged 16 to 21 this holiday season,” Ms Tackaberry said.
Included in the donations were 32 sets of pots and pans, 41 sets of pillows, 42 bedding sets, 34 winter coats, 28 pairs of winter boots, 23 microwaves, four bed frames and mattresses, and more than $30,000 worth of gift cards, she added.
Then it was time to wrap, and faculty and staff spent shifts preparing each recipient’s gifts until 357 bags were filled with colourful boxes and parcels.
Workers from the CAS were on campus Friday to tote away the gifts. They stuff their cars to the roof and also filled the back of a moving truck. Ms Tackaberry said delivery of the gifts started the same day.
“They were very appreciative of our efforts and are thankful we are willing to help youth who are quite often forgotten at this time of year,” Ms. Tackaberry said.
This is the fourth year the School has focusing on helping young people; prior to that, we helped families, which are now being supported by the Salvation Army.
Story by Julie Caspersen
St. Andrew's College
15800 Yonge Street, Aurora, ON L4G 3H7 Canada
Tel: 905-727-3178