A fabulous group of Grade 6 & 7 students from Richmond Jewish Day School and Az-Zahraa Islamic Academy banded together to help out on the Downtown Eastside in February. Together, they were an outstanding display of two cultures working happily together as well as an inspiration for us all to reach out to help others. The students handed out food and clothing and had intimate conversations with people they met. They had a strong connection with one gentleman in particular, Fred Miller, who inspired them to be grateful for what they have, trust in their parents and work hard in school. Fred was touched by the kindness of these students and was overwhelmed by the love they showed him. He was also inspired by the love they had for each other and the way they had come together, despite their cultural differences, to show the world what is important.
Last week, Jessie Claudio, a teacher from Az-Zahraa, invited Covenant House to come and speak with her students. This spring, they had won an award for their random acts of kindness and were thinking about donating the $3,000 award to Covenant House Vancouver. When I arrived at the school on Monday, I was delighted to meet Fred Miller, who ended up being the inspiration behind all of this. Students got to speak with Fred and learn more about him. After a massive Group Hug (about 30 students + Fred) I got to speak about Covenant House and the incredible young people we serve.
This stellar group of students chose to donate their $3,000 award to Covenant House Vancouver as they wanted to pay it forward. They were over-the-moon about the opportunity to double their impact fighting homelessness by donating their award during The Conconi Covenant House Challenge!
When the group arrived to present Covenant House with their award, they also brought along gifts for Fred and boxes of shoes for our youth. In addition to their incredible donation, a member of the Shia Muslim Community matched the students’ donation and presented Covenant House with another gift of $3,000!
Covenant House Vancouver wants to send a huge thank you to all involved especially to the students for their kind hearts and generosity. One student from RJDS really summed up the specialness of the day: “I woke up this morning feeling good, knowing what we were about to do.”
Check out CBC's coverage of this wonderful story.