Dirty Hands for a Good Cause

Thursday, April 04, 2019 - By: Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20; Photo by Nathan L, Whittall '20

At Brentwood, every one of us has access to clean water and three nutritious meals each day. We go to sleep in a bed every night, secure in the knowledge that we are safe. We have clean, warm clothes, roofs over our heads, as well as many things beyond these basic necessities. But the sad truth remains that many people are not so lucky, even close to us. In fact, the Cowichan Valley has some of the highest child poverty and homeless rates in British Columbia. 

As members of the most privileged, I believe we have a responsibility to help contribute to make a meaningful difference in these areas. One of the ways that Brentwood shines a light on this issue and gives back to our community is through our annual Charity Work Day. 

Every year, Brentwood students and staff alike get their hands dirty and put their backs into making a difference in our community through Charity Work Day. Crew,s usually consisting of 4-8 students and one staff member, are hired out by members of the community, and they spend a Saturday helping with whatever jobs their hosts need accomplished. In return for the crew’s labours, the host makes a donation, which Brentwood then distributes to various local charities, including the Mill Bay Food Bank, Cowichan Valley Basket Society, Clements Center Society, and others. Deputy Head Mr Felix commented that Charity Work Day is one of his favourite days of the year, and I think that many in the school community would agree. Jayden J, Hope ‘20, summed up the day, saying “it was an amazing experience, and a really good way to give back to our community”.

This year, over 40 crews were distributed across the valley to offer their services, while another approximately 20 completed various jobs at the school, including operating a car wash. The work done by students took many forms, including washing windows, gardening, painting fences, chopping wood, landscaping, and much more. In addition to offering the energy and strength of young, able-bodied students to those who hired crews, the work could not be for a better cause! 

I would like to thank all of the students and staff who did their part in contributing to making a difference where we can. Thanks also to Mrs Melanie Ross and Ms Kayla Kulczycki for their hard work in organizing the day. As well, an acknowledgement is in order for our bus drivers, facilities team, and food services team, who made sure that everyone was in the right place at the right time, and had plenty of food to eat throughout the day. 

Sarah R, Mackenzie ‘20 

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