October 16, 2013

During the night of October 9, 115 students and seven teachers from École secondaire catholique Champlain (Chelmsford) as well as six elementary school students took part in the Homeless for a Night activity.

With only cardboard boxes and tarps as shelter, the students sought to experience the reality of being homeless as they spearheaded a collection of non-perishable food items and monetary donations. Through their efforts and the support of Rayside-Balfour citizens, they collected a dozen of boxes of food items as well as $4,000 in donations that will be used to purchase winter boots for less fortunate families in the community.

This activity started at 4 p.m. in the Métro supermarket parking lot. Once their evening shelters were completed, students prepared signs to wave on the sidewalk to raise awareness on the issue of poverty. After a meal of home-made soup and a hamburger, students spoke with community members, joined in on a sing-along and took part in leadership activities. At 11 p.m., students settled in for the night in their boxes. The next morning, they attended Family Week mass at St-Joseph Church. A warm and hearty breakfast was served afterwards at their school.

“Our awareness activity was very successful. Champlain students were able to change the world by becoming homeless for a night,” stated Mrs. Carol Bradley-Whissell, teacher at É.s.c. Champlain. “I am very proud of all of my students who lived this valuable experience that will enable them to become better citizens.”