It was all hands on deck on Thursday, preparing for the lunchtime rush at Beaconsfield High School.
Grade 11 students prepared more than 400 pizza lunches to be distributed as part of the Catering for a Cause fundraiser.
“We thought it would be fun just to sell them a nice meal, being that our cafeteria is closed,” said teacher in charge Melanie Schneider. “We’re also going to do a raffle. We have over 30 to 40 gifts being donated.”
The graduating class organized the charity event as an end-of-year project. They were inspired by a photo of a young boy in a refugee camp, which they discussed in class.
In an attempt to find the boy, Schneider contacted the photographer and said he left a lasting impression on her.
“His last words to me, a famous photographer, said help refugee kids, so at that point I knew I wanted to go international this year.”
Funds raised are going towards Unicef, a Syrian refugee family and Kids Help Phone.
“In this situation our kids had lost themselves, and obviously that’s an organization that helps teenagers,” said Schneider
During the lunch period, grads walked the halls selling chocolate, chips and pop to classrooms of students. In the process of helping others, they even cheered up the school in what has a been a tough year.
“I think it’s actually a really nice way to make kids smile, especially right now with COVID and everything,” said graduating student Guiliana Tartaglia.
Speaking to staff and students, it’s clear what first started as a lesson has blossomed into so much more.
“In this pandemic I try and educate my kids about building a longer table and not a higher fence and they’ve joined me building a longer table, so it was an honour teaching them,” said Schneider.
They are doing it all over again Friday, with the other half of the school. The graduating class aims to raise $2,000 total.