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Harbord CI Students Raise Money for Syrian Newcomer Families

12-Hour Wake-a-Thon raises more than $4,000

Wednesday, March 09, 2016
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

By students Lydia Batty and Molly Whittington, Students Leading Initiative for Change (SLIC)

Teenagers are sometimes labelled as lazy and self-absorbed, but from Friday February 19 to the early morning on Saturday, February 20, students from Harbord Collegiate Institute proved that to be a gross misconception. 

Participating in a Wake-A-Thon organized by the school’s social justice club, Students Leading Initiative for Change (SLIC), these dedicated individuals braved twelve long hours overnight in the school, a place some might think is the last place students would want to spend a Friday night. 

The event was a success, showcasing the creativity and empathy of more than eighty dedicated teenagers and raising more than $4,000 in donations.  Teachers graciously donated their time, local businesses supplied food, and student volunteers ran different events throughout the night to keep everyone awake.

The money raised went to the Christie Refugee Welcome Centre (CRWC), an organization dedicated to welcoming and providing living necessities for refugees upon their arrival. The CRWC in turn will channel the money to a local private sponsorship group to support their work in bringing a family from Syria to Canada.

Members of SLIC are proud to have raised this money. “The Syrian refugee crisis is awful,” said grade 9 student Catherine Z. “We can’t imagine what people must be feeling to have left their devastated homes, facing horrible living conditions.” 

Fellow SLIC member Mercy H said she was glad to have an opportunity to be part of the solution to help alleviate the crisis. “Everyone has a voice,” she said “Just because we are young doesn’t mean that we can’t make a difference.  Every little thing we do to help goes a long way.  Though it may seem small, it can make a big impact in the life of someone  else.”  

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