While most Canadians, at some point in their childhood, probably rifled through the Sears Wish Book in search of the perfect Christmas present, the students at our Junior School have an annual tradition of going gift shopping for others with the help of a very different catalogue.
The pages aren’t filled with toys and electronics – it’s animals! $600 for a live cow, $250 for an alpaca or $50 for two hens and a rooster. The items in the World Vision Gift Catalogue are gifts that bring help and hope to a child, family or community in need. The gift of livestock provides much-needed food and income for families living in impoverished conditions in countries all around the world. The fundraiser, held in the last two weeks before students head off on winter break, ties in with the Junior School’s focus in December on the virtue of generosity.
Students earn money at home by completing extra jobs to help out around the house, like washing dishes after dinner or doing the vacuuming, and donate it to the Junior School Service Committee’s efforts to buy a barn full of animals through World Vision.
Every day at lunch, the money was collected and counted schoolwide, and students got to peruse the catalogue and choose the animals to purchase.
The Junior School raised a total of $1,500, and purchased a variety of animals, including a cow, and a few goats, pigs and chickens. The students also purchased some fruit trees and a wood stove.
“The World Vision project was to help those in need. So our school raised money to help these people in need. We used the money to buy animals such as: cows, sheep, chickens, hens and so on. This project was very fun and also we were being generous to these people. After this project I realized how much we had and others didn’t.” –
“World Vision is an exceptional program that helps a lot of people. It can help kids go to school and get animals for families. This is an amazing program and thank you for contributing!” –
“World Vision is a project that the SMUS Junior School has been doing since before I was in Kindergarten, which for me was a long six years ago. I truly believe this is an amazing way to spread Christmas joy because the students get to have the opportunity to learn that giving always feels good, even if that is giving a goat to an African child, or just opening a door for a classmate. They learn that as people we should always lend a helping hand. This organization is a great way to teach that message to children by encouraging us to do extra chores so we can buy animals for families in Africa. I hope when I am in Grade 12 this project is still going on!” –
(photos by Gordon Chan)