Oak Bay High students put social causes in the spotlight

Youth Philanthropy Initiative project earns $5,000 for Anawim House

Fiona MacInnes

Fiona MacInnes

Kathleen O’Donnell can’t remember a year they didn’t get the family Christmas tree from Anawim House.

“I never really knew fully what they do,” said the Oak Bay High student.

That changed a couple months ago not long after teacher Roxanne Taggart tasked the Grade 11 students with Youth Philanthropy Initiative projects.

Teams identify and research a social issue in the community, then analyze local charities that address those issues before visiting that charity and creating a presentation to champion the cause to their peers and a panel of judges.

“(Anawim) was the first charity that popped into my head. It’s the one I was exposed to.” O’Donnell said. She and classmates Eve Kelly-Ralph and Asia Martell created a presentation good enough to earn the top prize at Oak Bay High – a $5,000 donation for their cause, Anawim House.

The program is a win-win-win situation, said Fiona MacInnes, the YPI representative on hand to issue the winning team the cheque for their cause.

Students learn about research and presentation, teachers can utilize it in the curriculum and, of course, the charities receive funds and gain exposure.

“I’m amazed and enthralled every time. They’ve learned something new about the world and they want to share,” said MacInnes. “They had good stage presence. They were very calm. They had lots of information and presented it well.”

The trio of presentations included spoken word poetry, statistics, personal stories and interviews and interaction with the audience, all interspersed with performances by the senior jazz ensemble.

Along the way all the students learned something, from participant to audience member.

“It’s so easy to end up in poverty,” said O’Donnell, recounting the tale of a man they met at Anawim who lost his job. “It really opened our eyes.”

Anawim House started as Anawim Companions Society, a small group of volunteers at St. Andrew’s soup kitchen in the early 1980s. It now features a family-size kitchen, dining area, a large living room and entertainment centre, shower and laundry facilities, a library/board room, offices, an arts and crafts studio, computer work stations, a well-equipped workshop and private bedrooms for seven residents.

“Every aspect of Anawim is a family home,” the girls said in the presentation. The Victoria charity runs on a $220,000 a year budget with four employees, one of which is full time. They provide more than 13,500 meals a year, along with 35,000 cups of coffee, at least 1,800 showers and more than 1,800 loads of laundry.

The other two groups competing in the finale were Daisy Duncan, Jewels Deluca, Traci Webb and Emma Frankenberger promoting the Umbrella Society, where those who have overcome addiction help others “come out the other side” and flourish.

Kole Barnes, Geneva Harrison and Michelle Xin learned all about Rainbow Kitchen in Esquimalt that offers a nutritious, tasty hot lunch to 125 to 140 people a day, five days a week, 52 weeks a year.

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A tip from the public helped Victoria police located and arrest wanted men Jonathon Muzychka and Dean Reber. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Tips lead police to arrest convicted killer, robber near downtown Victoria

Two men were at large after failing to return to community facility

Police are warning people of flu shot and vaccination frauds. (Black Press Media file photo)
Flu shot fraud charges West Shore resident for non-existent appointments

Fraudulent email claimed to be from London Drugs

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in Juan de Fuca Strait

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kairry Nguyen on Jan. 27, 2020 after Tenessa Nikirk was found guilty for striking Bui in a Saanich crosswalk. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Driver convicted of dangerous driving after hitting Leila Bui out on bail

Tennesa Nikirk was convicted for striking then 11-year-old Leila Bui with her car

Keygan Power with brother Quintin and mom Allison while camping the weekend before Keygan’s brain hemorrhage on Aug. 2, 2020. (Photo Allison Power)
Saanich teen ‘locked inside,’ regaining speech after severe brain hemorrhage

16-year-old suffers traumatic loss of function, still plays a mean game of chess

(Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker have been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
B.C. couple who travelled to Yukon for COVID vaccine ineligible for 2nd dose until summer

The province is ensuring those eligible to receive the vaccine get the second shot within 42 days

(File)
Mask dispute in court leaves Vancouver cop with broken leg

Man allegedly refused to put on a mask and resisted arrest

(Kraft Dinner/Twitter)
Kraft Dinner launches candy-flavoured mac and cheese just in time for Valentine’s Day

Sweet and cheesy treat will be here just in time for the cheesiest holiday of the year

Extensive water on No. 4 and 5 at the Mount Brenton Golf Course following heavy rains earlier this month. (Photo submitted)
Island golf course does a booming business in 2020

A total of 15,000 more rounds played than the previous year at Mount Brenton

SAR crews worked late into the night Tuesday to rescue an injured snowboarder in North Vancouver. (Facebook/North Shore Rescue)
Complicated, dangerous rescue saves man in avalanche near Cypress Mountain

North Shore SAR team braves considerable conditions to reach injured snowboarder

The Pacific Rim Whale Festival is breaching for a COVID-safe return in March. (Poster photo by Owen Crosby)
Pacific Rim Whale Festival aims for virtual return in March

Educational celebration scheduled to arrive in Tofino-Ucluelet on March 15.

Most Read