Social Leadership – Charity Work Day
Last Saturday, the Brentwood community executed a remarkable day. In a society often centred on self-absorbed, individual behaviours, fuelled by social media, a "What's in it more me attitude?" and images designed to make young people aspire to the accumulation of the "perfect life", the school had the opportunity to do the exact opposite.
The school resurrected Charity Work Day two years ago after a four year hiatus. This year, nine not-for-profit organizations and 56 private citizens employed our students in a variety of jobs throughout the Cowichan Valley.
The volunteer efforts the students contributed totalled about 1600 hours. The not-for-profit organizations tell us the work the students did on Saturday accelerated their work schedules by as much as four weeks. In one case, a farm that provides food to the needy in the Cowichan Valley tells us that the work our students did enables their full time staff to dedicate their time to other tasks, which ultimately translates into more food on the tables of those people who really need it. Talk about making a meaningful, unselfish difference!
In addition, the families who hired our students donated funds which the school will pass on to 10 local organizations who dedicate their efforts to improving the lives of those less fortunate. This year, that sum will exceed $12,000. Add to that the 300 hours the students and staff donated to the not-for-profit groups, at $10/hour, and the total the school generated will exceed $15,000. Not a bad day!
Perhaps most impressively, among many positives that will come out of the day, was the incredible attitude our students displayed, the work that they completed, and the knowledge they now possess that service for the benefit of others feel good, and that these acts are far more important than indulging in behaviours geared to oneself.
Marius Felix, Assistant Head