A. Lorne Cassidy students fundraise to support southern Türkiye and northern Syria families

(Two of the completed themed gift baskets created by the A. Lorne Cassidy students sold to raise money for the Canadian Red Cross in support of the families in southern Türkiye and northern Syria devastated by the recent earthquakes in their countries. Photos: Debra Roberts)

When two A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School classes heard about the earthquake that recently devastated parts of southern Türkiye and northern Syria, their first reaction was to wonder how they could help. There are many families in our community here in Ottawa who may be from these areas or have loved ones affected.

The idea to host a fundraiser was chosen by these grade four, five, and six students after they were taught about how they could be advocates in their community and work to improve the world around them, despite their age.

“After the devastating news that rocked Türkiye, Syria, and the surrounding areas, we felt it was our responsibility as teachers to educate our students on the importance of supporting those who are suffering in third world countries, where an earthquake is one of the many horrific obstacles they face in their day to day lives. The students were asked, “How can we help those who have lost almost everything?” After much thinking, discussing, and reflecting, we decided on fundraising,” says Mira Zaatar, who is one of the teachers helping to organize this fundraiser, along with Debbie Roberts. “The best part of this experience is seeing our future generation come together to help others. It’s a beautiful thing to see.”

In addition to creating the initial idea, the students played a large role in the fundraising process. They donated items from home to create gift baskets with themes that they came up with. Some of the themes chosen by the students included a movie night basket, an art supplies basket, and a relaxation basket.

Students also created a slideshow to share details about the devastating earthquakes and the consequences for people living in these regions, including that many families no longer have a place to live, food to eat, nor clean water to drink. Information about their fundraising idea was also shared with all classes to encourage donations to help the earthquake survivors.

Tickets to win the gift baskets were sold for $2 each or $5 for three tickets, with all funds going towards earthquake relief with the Red Cross. Winners will be picked at random on Friday, March 10. Their goal is to raise $1000 in donations to help support families in Türkiye and Syria. So far, they have already received over $500.

This fundraiser was a wonderful idea that supported a great cause. Thank you to the A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School teachers and students who organized it!



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