Charity Work Day

Thursday, April 03, 2014 - By: Marius Felix

On Saturday, March 29th, the school reestablished Charity Work Day after a four year hiatus. With the cooperation of our very hard working faculty and our transportation, food services and reception staff, the school sent 54 groups of students (410 in total) into the community, each group with a faculty supervisor, to work for a variety of non-profits, businesses, and private citizens. Jobs varied from simple gardening, to trail and foreshore restoration projects. Students were bussed as far north as Chemainus, but the majority of the students were hired locally. The reality of managing risk necessitated sending a teacher with each group and proved to be a logistical challenge, but in true Brentwood fashion, our bus drivers, teachers and, especially our students, rose to the challenge and the day was extremely successful. Each group was comprised of students from different grades and we tried to make sure that students were working with someone they did not know well to extend the circle of friendship here at Brentwood.

Leading up to the event, one client expressed some concerns about hiring “students from Brentwood to do hard work.” Three girls and three boys arrived to this person’s home and proceeded to “completely impress me and my skeptical husband” with their determination and the quality of their efforts. This was a refrain repeated time and time again as students returned to school at the end of the day and turned in their feedback sheets.

This year we decided to offer non-profit organizations our students and staff for free. In one case, the work 12 of our students and 2 teachers did at one of these venues moved the organisation’s work timeline ahead by more than a month! The value in this for the organisation is significant as it will enable them to produce more locally grown produce for the needy in Duncan. The benefit to our students in making this contribution is priceless.

The school also raised over $8000 in cash donations that will be distributed to local organisations. If we factor in the volunteer hours our groups donated to non-profit groups, the dollar value would be well over $12,000! Most satisfying, however, is the remarkable feedback our students provided when they returned from the Charity Work Day venues. I did not hear one word of complaint. In fact, the opposite was true. Our students see and now have contributed to the value of our Brentwood community providing service to those who are in need - long may this continue!

Marius Felix, Assistant Head

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