St. James Collegiate students recently stepped outside their comfort zones to help out the less fortunate.
Grade 10 students Emily Drummond-Truttman, 16, and Vanessa McKay, 15, shared their experiences providing soup and sandwiches to the Oak Table Community Ministry at Augustine United Church (444 River Ave.) on Jan. 30.
Oak Table Community Ministry is a drop-in ministry with a daily lunch program for low income and marginalized people in the community.
"I wanted to help because I’ve never really been out to help people or do something that’s not for myself," Drummond-Truttman admitted. "I’m in my own bubble of ‘I have what I need’, so it was really eye-opening for me to understand and see that it’s not like that for everyone."
"I wanted to go to Oak Table because it seemed like a really good experience to see other sides of the city," McKay added.
Drummond-Truttman and McKay are part of the school’s Youth in Philanthropy (YiP) program, an extracurricular course that introduces high school students to philanthropy and community development.
The 12 to 13 students in St. James Collegiate’s YiP committee applied for a YiP in Action! grant of $400 in order to purchase the supplies and ingredients needed to make soup and sandwiches.
On Jan. 29, the day before the group was supposed to head off to Augustine United Church, the group made six pots of vegetable soup and cut up the cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes needed to make the sandwiches. On Jan. 30, eight of the students went to the church, setting up sandwich-building stations and heating up soup.
Oak Table Community Ministry is open from Monday to Thursday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., serving community members that "live on a low income" and "coping with issues of mental and physical health and addictions", according to Augustine United Church’s website (augustineunitedchurch.org/social-justice/oaktable).
Drummond-Truttman estimated they fed about 60 people that day.
For more information about YiP, visit wpgfdn.org/youthinphilanthropy.php