Grade 12 student Courtney Wright (left) sorts through grocery bags sewn by Grade 9 students Elise Arbo and Harnoor Badyal, for Rutland Senior Secondary’s Hope for the Holidays. Grad council president Bobbie-Jo MacMillan overseas the process (right). - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Rutland students help less fortunate

At Rutland Senior Secondary, students are helping the homeless this holiday season

Rutland Senior Secondary students are shifting their perspective on homelessness.

Grade 12 Bobbie-Jo MacMillan is grad council president and is helping organize Hope for the Holidays, an event that will give homeless and those in need food and clothing for the winter.

The idea came from a school councillor who had her class give donations to the homeless. But the school’s grad council wanted to make it bigger.

“We brought in sponsors and we had a bunch of food donations,” said MacMillan. “The beautiful part of the event this year is the whole school is involved.”

Textile students sewed grocery bags while baked goods were created in cooking classes.

“We’re hoping to serve as many people as possible,” said MacMillan.

The students have also been collecting warm, winter clothing for the past month.

The event allows for the students to connect with those who are less fortunate.

It’s one thing to know that there are homeless people in the community… it’s another to be down there interacting, trying to spread holiday cheer and seeing that this is an important event that we need to keep doing,” said MacMillan

“I feel very fortunate to have as much as I do, but I do know times are tough, we all know that even on our worst days it can be a lot better than (others who are less fortunate). We need to help those who don’t have as much as us because how else are they supposed to build themselves back up to a place where they can be safe and healthy and happy if nobody helps them?”

Around 20 students will be attending the event, which is scheduled for Dec. 19 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at The Sails. The Rutland Senior Choir will also be singing Christmas carols.

The event was a team effort. It’s not just the classes, the Dry Grad committee donated a portion of its bottle-drive sales and the Rotary Club donated money to buy supplies. The leadership program was also involved, said MacMillan.

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