There is no end to what students and staff at Assumption College School will do to help their own.
Assumption’s Pennies from Heaven campaign has seen the school raise more than $8,000 to help purchase Christmas food hampers, winter coats, boots, toys and blankets for 32 in-need families within the school community.
But Assumption’s helping spirit doesn’t stop there. One family was without a bed for their children, who were forced to sleep on the floor.
“I put out an appeal for a bed to my staff and within half an hour I had an offering from some of my staff to buy a new bed,” said ACS chaplain Christina Morrison.
On Friday, Morrison dropped off a queen-sized bed, blankets, sheets, shams and even a night table and lamp for the family, along with other items that come along with the Pennies from Heaven campaign.
“We try to elevate their spirits,” Morrison said. “That’s what it’s all about, the dignity of the human person. (Making) people feel dignified and loved during the Christmas season is why we are doing what we are doing.”
Throughout the month of December, students and staff have been collecting loose change and donations to help purchase items for hampers, including food, hats, boots, coats, toiletries and day-to-day necessities. Food was provided at cost by Frank’s No Frills and clothing and winter items were donated at low prices from stores in Hamilton.
The Pennies from Heaven campaign is run by the school’s business leadership class, which counts every penny and organizes the purchase of all goods.
“It’s important for students to realize the value of $5 or $10,” Morrison said. “Our students and staff spend $20 so easily. It’s a couple runs to Starbucks or a couple lunches out but, for the campaign, $20 is two pairs of boots, diapers, it’s a hamper of food.”
Pennies from Heaven has also taught students about community, said Grade 12 student Derek Vanderwyk.
“One of the things that Assumption really stresses is community,” Vanderwyk said. “With Pennies from Heaven, we are supporting the health of the community. Even if we don’t know who is hurting, we are making sure that everyone has what they need. And that’s what a community is – making sure no one is left behind.”
Donations to Pennies from Heaven can be made by calling the school at 519-751-2030.