Notre Dame High School’s Hungry for the Homeless Campaign is returning for its third year.
“Each of the years it’s just gotten better and better,” says teacher and organizer Siobhan Winterhalt. “We’re hoping to make this a a thing that we’ll do for years to come.
The school had previously been working with Homeless Shelters in Edmonton, but eventually realized there was a pressing need in Bonnyville too.
“Three years ago we drummed up the idea ‘Let’s have the students outside in the cold, experiencing the cold and what it’s like to go without,” says Winterhalt. “Not only that but the experience of rejection as people drive by and you’re waving your signs, you’re trying to raise awareness and not everybody is paying attention to you. Not only do they get to experience some of those feelings. They’re simultaneously doing this as a food drive so that anything we raise – be it money or non-perishable food items- we bring to the Friendship Centre.”
Winterhalt says she hopes to have between seventy and eighty students on the roadside, asking for donations and getting a tiny glimpse into what life can be like at the bottom of society. Though it’s is mandatory for Grade 10 students, other grades are welcome to volunteer as well.
“It’s a good experience for people to experience that type of humility. The idea that you’re asking people for something as basic as your next meal.”
The students will be split between the Sylvestre’s Source for Sports and Sobey’s parking lots of Friday from 4:30 to 7:30 in the evening. If you can’t make it out at that time, you can also drop off donations at the school right up until the Thanksgiving weekend when it will all be shipped off the Friendship Centre.