It’s a disease that’s affected many Canadians in one way or another — cancer. And after a group of Brooklin High School students spent their time learning about a place that plays a key role in treatment, they’ve given back in a big way.
It’s been around longer than they have. After making a visit to Hearth Place earlier this year, Alexis Mcnutt and Reagan Lawrence have come back to the cancer support centre for another stop in.
They would be the first to tell you that they didn’t know the place existed until a few months ago.
“It was a great experience coming here and not knowing what it was and learning all about it,” said Alexis Mcnutt, Brooklin High School student.
“I didn’t know about Hearth Place or anything to do with it and literally it’s 10 minutes from our school,” said Reagan Lawrence, Brooklin High School student.
A youth and philanthropy initiative program at school is what led Lawrence, Mcnutt and two others to the cancer support centre.
And in turn, they received a $5,000 cheque for the charity.
“We put lots of time and effort into it and we really got into this project and made it more fun than just a school project,” said Mcnutt.
“I have a number of students who come in for tours and you can tell pretty quickly those who have a real commitment and wanting to make a difference and these students were by far the best students that had come through,” said Andrea Shaw, Hearth Place Cancer Support Centre Executive Director.
For Lawrence, being able to help Heart Place hits close to home, as cancer has affected her family.
“It was really humbling to win the money for them,” said Lawrence.
With the teenagers’ donation, Hearth Place felt it was fitting to use the money on pediatric programming.
“We provide a lot of support for teenagers as well as groups for children who are either dealing with the loss of a loved one to cancer or an illness of a loved one, as well we have a full extent of programming for families who have a child with cancer,” said Shaw.
Lawrence and Mcnutt didn’t come on this latest trip empty-handed, having raised almost $200 more for the charity
While Hearth Place continues to grow in numbers, though, they’ve outgrown their space.
Construction on a new wing is expected to start next month, with completion anticipated by the end of the year.
“You don’t want to know about us until you need us, but you’re very grateful we’re here,” said Shaw.