Students at Bishop Allen Academy in Etobicoke, Toronto, have raised an amazing $1,200.22 to assist refugees from Syria. They held bake sales and lunches and collections in homeroom classes during Lent this year. According to school chaplain Basil Boudreau, the students were happy to be able to do something to assist Canadian Jesuits International (CJI) in its work for refugees. Since the Syrian Uprising began in 2011, CJI has worked closely with the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) to support Syrian refugees.
Daniella Altobelli, one of the students at Bishop Allen Academy who was actively involved in the bake sale portion of the school’s fundraising for Syrian refugees, wrote the following account, showing the students’ keen awareness, motivation and response. (It is Daniella’s class at Bishop Allen Academy that is featured in the photo above.)
BAKE SALE FOR JRS
by Daniella Altobelli
Imagine the place that is most familiar to you, the place where you grew up, the place where you took your first steps, said your first words and shed your first tears. Imagine the people you lived with, the friends that you made and the neighbours that surrounded you. Imagine your safe place, whether it be inside the walls of your house or under the covers of your bed. Now imagine being taken from this place, not knowing where you are headed, having no clue how long you will be gone for and not given the opportunity to say goodbye. Imagine the reason for leaving was that your life was in danger and your safe place was no longer safe.
As unrealistic as it sounds to us, it is the reality for more than 3,000,000 Syrian people. This mass population had to seek refuge in different cities and countries in order to guarantee their safety. A large percentage of these refugees are children, 18 years and younger, who do not have the opportunities that other children all over the world have. These children do not have the opportunity to go to school, to learn, to receive an education to further their lives.
This is where organizations like the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) step into action. This organization not only sends food and supplies, they build schools, check in with families and send volunteers to help reconstruct lives. JRS gives opportunities to children to receive the education they deserve to further prosper in their lives. This organization is largely supported by donations from all over the world.
Bishop Allen Academy, a Catholic high school in Toronto took on the challenge of raising money and awareness for the JRS as their Lenten project. Ms. Conroy’s grade 11 University English class held a bake sale on Friday, March 27th, 2015 to support the Jesuit Refugee Service. A class of over 30 students banded together to bake multiple sweet treats and volunteered to sell them during their lunch break. The bake sale was a huge success as Bishop Allen was able to raise over $215.00, all of which will be donated to the JRS foundation.