Salisbury Morse Place School was trying to do its best to help out those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
The East Kildonan school’s best far exceeded its expectations.
Grade 7 teacher Leanne Smith also serves as the teacher-advisor for the school’s Builders Club, a group of about 35 students in Grades 6 through 8 who look to help out with charitable initiatives. The school community is made up of students with various cultural backgrounds, including a large Filipino population.
The students decided to hold a bake sale on Nov. 18 with the goal of raising $300. However, organizers initially thought there were so many goodies that the sale would last three days.
Students decided to charge 50 cents an item — and raised approximately $2,000 to help people affected by the Category 5 super typhoon that hit the country earlier this month.
"It was totally kid-initiated and they said ‘What can we do to help?’" Smith recalled. "On Monday (Nov. 18), the kids brought in baking, and the kitchen was overflowing. The staff, the EAs (educational assistants), and even kids who weren’t in Builders Club brought in baking.
"Within a day, we ran out of baking."
Smith said with the great success of the first day of the sale, they decided to extend it another day in a bid to raise more. They received more baking and quickly sold out once again, and also held a hotdog sale later in the week to raise even more money.
Grade 7 student Sarah Mohammed said the students feel the money will go to good use with the Red Cross.
"The money goes directly to where it’s needed," Mohammed said, noting she was glad to see the cash going toward clean water.
Classmate Vincent Tran didn’t know how much money was raised before handing over the cheque to the Red Cross, but he was proud of how successful the group’s efforts were.
"It was surprising," he said. "I was pretty amazed."
Shawn Feely, the provincial director for the Canadian Red Cross, was on hand to accept the donation from the school on Nov. 28. He said the organization is working in conjunction with the local Red Cross in the Philippines. The Canadian organization has sent a field hospital to the town of Ormoc do everything from taking care of pediatric emergencies to delivering babies.
The Red Cross is also sending essentials like food, water, and hygiene kits to the country.
Feely said the local response has been encouraging, with approximately 50 community groups stepping up to help. He said Salisbury Morse Place’s donation will go a long way.
"It comes from the heart," Feely said. "It’s a whole-school effort to help raise this and it’s going to go to a great cause."
For more information on the Canadian Red Cross, visit www.redcross.ca