September 27, 2020

BY STEPHANIE LEFEBVRE
It’s the time of year for giving and there are many charities to give to. Through food and toy donations, families across Ontario have had their lives changed over the past Christmas seasons.
However, Conestoga Students Inc. has started a Christmas hamper program in conjunction with their Wish Tree, to help students at Conestoga College who don’t have the means to make a Christmas dinner for their family.
This is the first time the program is being held and so far about 10 families have signed up to receive a hamper filled with all the fixings. And it only costs $30. The hampers will be delivered to the students during exam week.
Kathleen Moran, a liberal studies and communications teacher, teaches four classes and all of them have committed to purchasing hampers to give to families in need.
Though they only started collecting money on Nov. 21, Moran is confident they will be able to raise enough money for at least two hampers.
“One of the things that the students all said was one of the reasons why they were so eager to donate was because it stays in the Conestoga community,” she said.
Moran also said that when she brought it up to her classes, they were more than happy to jump on board.
After sending out an email to a few other faculty members, Ken Brooks responded and is donating two hampers as well. And though Moran said she could easily donate one on her own, she thought maybe she could get her students to contribute.
In fact, one of Moran’s first-year students in legal administration, Kaitlyn Mason, said her and her boyfriend had already planned to donate money to a charity for Christmas this year. So it was right up her alley.
“I’m actually looking at donating more hampers myself,” said Mason.
Another first-year student, Monica Henriques, said she had volunteered in the past and enjoyed it so she was eager to help out as well.
“It takes the stress off these students,” said Henriques.
Both students agreed that $30 wasn’t a large amount of money and their classmates may only have to sacrifice a coffee or two in order to make a donation.
And everyone knows that it’s hard to get through school financially, but a lot of students have the luxury of spending time with family for Christmas. For some, it’s not so easy. They’re barely making ends meet, they have children and they might not be able to travel to be with their families over the holiday season.
With the help of classes such as Moran’s, the students who have signed up to ask for assistance will be able to at least have a good meal to look forward to.
Moran did comment on the amount of courage it took for those students to ask for help and she hopes that their children view their parents’ return to school as a positive.
This is the first time CSI has attempted this type of endeavour and Moran hopes there will be more hampers to fill and more advertising in years to come.