The Holiday Hero gifts have left St. Andrew’s for delivery to 143 youths.
The school is supporting young people in the care of the York Region Children’s Aid Society (CAS) through our Holiday Hero program. These are young men and women between 15 and 21 years old who live on their own, reside in group homes, or are away at school and don’t have family to rely on.
Student advisory groups each selected a person to help based on their profile, then purchased gifts for them. The young people requested things like laptops, housewares, toiletries, clothing, pet food, and grocery gift cards.
On Friday, Dec. 10, CAS caseworkers were busy packing up all the gifts that were being stored in the basement of the Memorial Chapel. They had help from a few Upper School student volunteers who loaded cars and filled the back of a moving truck with gifts.
This is the 15th year SAC has operated Holiday Hero under the direction of Melissa Tackaberry, an Upper School math teacher. She said the school has raised more than $2 million for the program in total.
Last year, as the School adapted to life during the pandemic, Holiday Hero continued and 109 young people were supported.
COMMUNITY SERVICE INITIATIVE
There were more holiday helpers hard at work this month. SAC partnered with Neighbourhood Network, an organization that matches neighbours and volunteers to help with community needs and support local charities and agencies.
A few Upper School boys helped wrap more than 2,000 gifts destined for local seniors. The gifts would normally be handed out at a holiday party, but with COVID-19 restrictions, there was a change to how the gifts were distributed.
The boys wrapped the packages on campus, and the gifts were then taken to local seniors’ residences and a women’s shelter.
Read more about the initiative here