Loonies line hallways of Montreal CEGEP to help students pay for rent, food

Students line loonies in the hallways of John Abbott College on March 13, 2024. Felicia Parrillo/Global News

It’s not something you see every day: about 875 feet of double-sided tape, lining the hallways at John Abbott College.

It’s all part of its loonie line fundraiser, aimed at helping students in need.

“You don’t have to go far to find people who are in need,” said John Halpin, John Abbott College’s director-general. “They’re right here in our own community and it’s kind of teaching our students to give back and at the same time, doing it for people who are close to them.”

The loonie line fundraiser was launched in 2003 by college employees to help students who needed extra support.

Every year since then, the campus community comes together to place loonies or toonies along tape that spans the entire main hallway of the college.

The proceeds all go the school’s student assistance fund, which helps students with tuition, rent, food, books and more.

Story continues below advertisement

“You don’t really know what everyone’s going through and their situations,” said Sidney Ullmann, a student at the college. “It’s important to know that some people at John Abbott, or any school, are paying for their schooling, their books or even anything in general. So it’s a lot of stress, having to work part-time or full-time jobs and manage school.”

The college says it has recently noticed an increase in the number of students in need of help.

According to school officials, compared with this time last year, there are already over double the number of students requesting help from the student assistance fund, and triple the amount in need of food assistance.

And so the fundraiser brings the campus together, with different departments, sports teams and staff all putting their efforts towards a cause they say truly helps.

“Certainly the need is greater than it was,” said Jason Howell, a theatre teacher. “It’s hard, it’s hidden. People aren’t open about it and so having a place where they can go where there’s no judgement about it, is really important.”

This year’s loonie line raised over $45,000, which includes donations from both Desjardins and Pfizer.

Sponsored content