Monterey students spread holiday warmth

School’s Me to We group spearheads project to help the homeless

The girls of Me to We at Monterey middle school deck out classmate Matt Sweeney in some of the warm wear they collected for the Cool Aid Society.

A list of 10 things they want to fundraise for hang on the wall to guide the Me to We group at Monterey middle school.

“Me to We is really something where there are lots of choices and different directions you can go with it to make a difference in the world,” said 12-year-old Robin Butterfield.

Most recently the group checked off its campaign to provide toques and socks for those in need in Greater Victoria.

“It started when we were brainstorming what to do and our group came up with socks and toques and things to keep the homeless warm,” said Madeleine Brown, 12.

They put boxes in each class and made announcements on a regular basis letting their peers know how, where and why to donate.

“We can help keep others in our community warm and happy [so they] have the same Christmas as us,” said Anna Termuende, 10, adding Me to We is about bringing people together to help. “We’re one community, Oak Bay working to help another community. Everyone comes together to help others.”

Some classroom boxes overflowed, while some simply simmered, but altogether it was an impressive donation.

“Even though it might not be a huge success, every little bit helps,” said Eliza Baines, 12.

They all share the sentiment: it’s important to help those in our extended community.

“Me to We is about making a difference in the world,” said Milan Giesbrecht, 12. September to December they focus on local endeavours, she explained, then in January they look more globally.

“I hope we do We Are Rafikis,” she said, explaining the program. The “African mamas” make Rafiki Friend Chains which are sold by fundraisers. That wage goes back to the family, who can then purchase a chicken and sell the eggs to buy a goat and sell the milk and so on.

“I’m hoping we get to them all [on the list] because they’re such great ideas,” said Tessa Jones, 12. Among her highest hopes are fundraising for Operation Smile, where doctors help those in Third World countries born with facial malformations who could, at times, be left to die.

“So [those babies] can have a life and things to look forward to,” Jones said.

While they’re looking toward the future, Bella Cannell notes: “This isn’t the first thing we did.”

At Halloween they scared up nearly 700 pounds of food from Monterey school for the Mustard Seed Food Bank.

“It’s also about making people aware,” summed up Claire Harlow, 10.

A sentiment echoed by 12-year-old Kate Wedeim: “Not a lot of people our age know about Me to We and it’s about raising awareness in our community.”

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

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