Legacy Gift from Willingdon grads
It is a tradition at Willingdon Elementary School that the graduation class leaves a legacy gift for the school.
This year, Willingdon’s Parent Graduation Committee and the graduation class worked with Le Grand Pas organization for the Grade 6 students' Legacy Service Project as a way of giving back to the community. “We felt it was an excellent way for the students to learn at a young age how important it is to help others in need by participating in this unique project,” said Carolyn Bouchard -MacNeil, the liaison parent with the organization.
The project started in March when the Grade 6 students began collecting a list of toiletries within their network. The students had designed a few letters that they could use to collect donations. The goal was to fill 150 bags with these products, including; toothbrushes, toothpaste, sanitizer, floss, masks, deodorant, band-aids, shampoo, body lotion, etc.
The graduation class also committed to providing 150 lunch bags for the homeless. The school donated cheese sticks, apple sauces, juice boxes, and soft cookies. The team collected donations of bananas, GoPure bars and Panettone Italian cakes, and the grad committee provided Cliff Protein bars to the bags as well.
Members from Le Grand Pas, along with an Inuit friend, came to Willingdon to do a presentation for the grade 6 students. They spoke about what their Non Profit does and their respective backgrounds including the story about living in an Inuit village growing up.
The students then prepared the brown lunch bags in their Art classes over a few periods, decorating them with artwork and uplifting messages. Incredible bags were designed.
The three Grade 6 classes joined the Legacy Service parent team in the gym one afternoon to bag all the products that had been collected. Overall, they met their goal of packing 150 lunch bags of food and 150 zip locks filled with toiletries. Included in the bags were gift cards, women’s underwear, tampons, sanitary pads, nail kits, laundry detergent, fanny packs and socks that were also collected. It was a very prosperous collection.
Finally, in May, on two Friday afternoons (3:40-6:30), interested students, along with Le Grand Pas, Administrators and parent volunteers, delivered these bags to the homeless on the streets of Montreal. The students and parents followed Le Grand Pas by car to the Cabot Square on St Catherine and Atwater and to the Plateau to hand out these handmade packages to the homeless. It was an incredible experience for the students and a lifelong memory of giving back to their community.
Pictures taken by two-parent volunteer photographers documented these steps and events leading up to the delivery day. A montage will be put up in the school to commemorate the Class of 2022 for their efforts in giving back to the community through the Legacy Service Project 2022.