Central Quebec School Board students help in a great cause!

Each year schools from the Central Quebec School Board join forces to contribute to the annual Community Christmas Hamper Campaign. Non-perishable food items come streaming in the front door of our schools to help fill nearly 200 hampers that are distributed throughout the English community each Christmas season. This year students from the Work Oriented Training Program at Quebec High School decided to put out a challenge to other schools. The first ever Turkey Bank Challenge was set in motion and has created some friendly competition amongst the students of the CQSB. "These kids have a great project and it has been fun to watch them contact the principals of each of the schools to sell the idea of the Turkey Bank Challenge," said CLC Coordinator Ed Sweeney.

The nervous energy was high when the students made their first call to Mr. Stephen Pigeon, principal of St. Patrick's High School. The telephone interview went smooth and after explaining their vision to Mr. Pigeon they were able to close the deal signing up St. Pat's for 33 banks! The total count has risen to 117 banks in 7 different schools. "We are very excited to take part in this initiative by the WOTP students. This kind of project brings the community together, pulling in one common direction to help the needy from our community," said Mr. Pigeon. "St. Pat's is proud to be a part of the challenge," he added.

"Giving this project over to the students of the WOTP has pushed them out of their comfort zone," says QHS staff member, Julie Slattery. "Watching them make calls, prepare the banks, and then go into schools to deliver the cans and promote the challenge has been a great learning experience for these students," Slattery elaborated.

The development of the challenge began when CLC Coordinator Ed Sweeney brought back the information that approximately 175 turkeys were purchased each year by the committee for distribution with the hampers. This is one of the largest financial burdens of the campaign. "We thought it would be neat if school children could take on the challenge of easing that burden. Each classroom was asked to place a "turkey bank" in their classrooms with the goal of collecting at least $20 in donations. This would be the cost of buying one turkey," said QHS staff member Julie Slattery. Ms. Slattery also sits on the Community Christmas Hamper Committee.

Community Christmas Hamper spokesperson Jan Anderson-Toupin is really happy to see the schools participating on a larger level this year. She is grateful for the food donations and the financial donations received in the past. She is overwhelmed with joy to see the generosity of the students taking the campaign to a new level.

How Can You Help?

As we know by day's end our pockets can fill up with loonies, toonies and other assorted coins. Why not send in a few coins with your son or daughter to be donated into one of the many Turkey Banks located in classrooms throughout the CQSB? The banks will be opened and counted on December 14th and the amounts donated to the hamper campaign.

If you do not have children in the CQSB you can make a donation to the Community Christmas Hamper Campaign c/o Jeffery Hale Community Services, 1250 chemin Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Qc, G1S 2M6.