Join a Tradition of Giving that has been Changing Lives for over Two Decades!

“This holiday season is celebrated differently all over the world. But the meaning to all these traditions is a message of hope, giving, and good will to all humanity. I believe what our class is inspiring throughout the world is a symbol of LOVE.”– Alyssa L.

Read the incredibly inspiring stories of Christmas goodwill by visiting each of the Participants pages: Friends Family and Community, Schools and Boards and Organizations.

Please share YOUR story! Fill in this form Give 4 Christmas Story Submission or  email us at pcameron@tbcschools.ca Please include your 1) name, 2) city and country. Also include pictures, videos and links!  Want to “Christmas Challenge” others? Visit our “You’ve Been Christmas Challenged” page and send them the link!

View our inspiring video which captures our tradition and the spirit of our Give4ChristmasChallenge!

YEAR 3-Christmas 2016  This year, our own school “Christmas tradition” has been put on hold due to circumstances beyond the students’ control. But that hasn’t stopped the kids! They still want to collect YOUR stories of Christmas kindness and are determined to make a difference during the Christmas season with their parents. So please, keep submitting YOUR stories, share our website and challenge others to do the same. Also watch for individual stories shared by my students and their parents!

YEAR 2-Christmas 2015  This Christmas our goal is to reach 100+ countries and have 100 more schools/friends/families/organizations and businesses share their giving stories.  Highlights To Date: Read the Chronicle Journal news article about Mayor Keith Hobbs’ visit to our classroom and our interview with CBC’s Superior Morning Show.  Please help us to continue to grow our “Christmas kindness snowball”.

YEAR 1: Our Give4ChristmasChallenge was a HUGE success in its inaugural year!  Our website was viewed in 60+ countries by over 5000 people with 40 people participating! Highlights included  receiving a huge shout out from Matthew West on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/matthewwest and Mr. Cameron was interviewed by a radio station in Budapest, Hungary.  This interview can be heard here: http://vimeo.com/115003722  We also received many accolades from dignitaries and politicians, including Minister of Education Liz Sandals, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Premier Kathleen Wynne (click on her name to read her letter to us)!

OUR MISSION

THANK YOU FOR VISITING OUR SITE!  THE INTENT OF THIS WEBSITE IS TO HAVE PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD SHARE WHAT THEY “GIVE” (or GIVE BACK) AT CHRISTMAS TIME. IT IS OUR HOPES THAT, THROUGH OUR STORIES, MORE PEOPLE WILL BE INSPIRED TO GIVE SIMILAR GIFTS! THIS WEBSITE OUTLINES WHAT WE DO AS A TRADITION AT OUR SCHOOL, FEEL FREE TO USE OUR IDEAS OR CREATE YOUR OWN.

WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE TO DO, PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT ON OUR “PARTICIPANTS” PAGE AND CHALLENGE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME BY SHARING THIS SITE WITH EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!! Feel free to cut and paste this LETTER from our students for easy sharing!

IF YOUR CLASS/BUSINESS OR FAMILY CHOOSES TO PARTICIPATE OUR CLASS WILL EMAIL YOU A CERTIFICATE OF APPRECIATION!!!

St. Elizabeth School’s 20 Year Tradition of Christmas Giving

Over two decades ago, my friend and colleague, Mr. Gerard (Smitty) Smith began an amazing tradition of giving with his grade 6 class to help them experience the true meaning of Christmas.  When our paths met at St. Elizabeth school, Smitty and I together continued this activity with our classes for the next fourteen years. When Smitty retired in 2012, Leanne Barch joined me with her class in continuing our Christmas tradition.  This experience proves to be one of the most rewarding and life changing experiences of our students’ lives! 

The idea is quite simple.  Our students raise money in early December by having a school wide bake, raffle and “yard sale”. This is a much anticipated event every year at St. Elizabeth!  During the last week of school before the Christmas break, our grade 6 students load the school bus, take the funds they have raised and go on a shopping trip to a local grocery store where they purchase food for the needy.  Next, they hand deliver the dozens of bags of food they have purchased to our local Shelter House.  Finally, students receive a eye opening and humbling tour of the facilities.  Students come away from this experience with so many valuable lessons learned and see Christmas in a very different light.  For it is in giving that they receive!

Click here to read parents’ comments and here for a past student’s journal entry chronicling her Christmas Journey!

As an extension, this year our classes will be volunteering to help prepare food at the Shelter House four times throughout the year.

To date, our small school has raised well in excess of $20,000 worth of food for the needy during the Christmas season.  It is our hope to grow this tradition and challenge teachers throughout the world to do a similar activity with their own classes.

Merry Christmas!

 

21 Responses to Join a Tradition of Giving that has been Changing Lives for over Two Decades!

  1. Patty Hajdu says:

    Wow, so grateful to be the organization that receives this generous gift. What a way to help and to generate a legacy of giving. Many thanks.

    Like

  2. Linda Beaudry says:

    Congratulations on launching your website! What an excellent vehicle to inspire people around the world to share in the joy of helping others. I am so proud of each of you. Enjoy this exciting journey!

    Like

  3. Patti Thompson says:

    great idea!

    Like

  4. Arlene says:

    Such an awesome “win/win” project for all involved! Love how it’s developed into something during the year as well. Have started to spread this love via FB to teachers and media friends, hope it goes viral. So proud from Barcelona!! El Picardo’s xoxo

    Like

  5. Natalie Choules says:

    What a lovely way to engage the community and celebrate the season!:)

    Like

  6. ruth sisak says:

    Awesome! very proud of our school community and this effort.

    Like

  7. Rebecca Ward says:

    Wow! I am so very proud of my nephew. This is an amazing effort to help those in our community. If we did this more often, we would be able to take of eachother in ways that would make hardish less difficult to endure. You are inspiring Hope and this irreplaceable. We have alot to learn from this group of students. Well done!

    Like

  8. Awesome job to your school, fellow teachers and especially the students, Uncle Pete!! I cannot wait to show Sam the website and talk to her about the importance of giving back with a kind heart!! Very inspiring, indeed!!

    Like

  9. A. Janssen-Hayko says:

    What a great idea! Sharing the warmth your students have inspired with mine. We’ll see what we can do in our corner of the world here in the Netherlands!

    Like

  10. Marj Cromb says:

    What a great initiative!

    Like

  11. laura ward-campbell says:

    Fantastic, as a Social Worker it is so important to understand true compassion for others. As a family we volunterred on Christmas Eve at the sheltered house
    and it is great my son can continue to give back and support those less fortunate then we are. Thank you Mr. Cameron

    Like

  12. Sandra Brouwer says:

    What a wonderful idea. This is indeed the true meaning of Christmas. My granddaughter, Eden, is excited to be a part of this venture. Thank you!

    Like

  13. Mr. Pascuzzo says:

    I am proud of the students and staff of St. Elizabeth School. As a former principal of St. Elizabeth I am extremely pleased that you are continuing this long standing tradition of helping the people within our own community. God bless you and guide you on your journey.

    Like

  14. Mrs. Gratton says:

    What an inspiring idea to pass on to fellow teachers and their students. The true meaning of Christmas will continue to be spread around by gracious acts like this.

    Like

  15. Kaylan Campbell says:

    Goal of 2500 reached at 9:53 pm December 2!

    Like

  16. Congratulations on your work to give to others during the holidays. What a wonderful example you are to our community. Thank you!

    Like

  17. Charlene Cavanagh says:

    Dear Grade Six Students, Mrs Barch and Mr Cameron:

    We’re so excited to see this authentic use of technology to really make a difference in the lives of other people! We are proud of you all and appreciate your hard work, thoughtfulness and care for others.

    You truly understand how to prepare your hearts for Christmas!

    Charlene Cavanagh, Coordinator of Elementary Programs, TBCDSB

    Cindy Carr, E-Learning Contact, TBCDSB

    Like

  18. Trish says:

    Awesome work! Great to see our Breakfast Club of Canada schools extending the giving and making their communities better places. Keep up the good work!

    Like

  19. Steve says:

    Wow…well done indeed….This is so awesome guys. Fact is, Christmas is all about giving from the very reason Christmas day exists to the giving of gifts around the tree with family on Christmas day. And teaching our future this….the kids…is so important.
    And I was fortunate to stummble upon this via Matthew West.

    May you all be blessed this Christmas as you are blessing others who are less fortunate.

    Merry Christmas to all from the Gold Coast, Australia

    Like

  20. Jan Dance says:

    Mr. Cameron, you and your students are an inspiration to other young people in the world. Our school also reaches out to others in a variety of ways including Breakfast Club and Food Drives. Your initiative and drive will be the light that guides the rest of us. Keep up the great work.

    Like

  21. Karen Bany says:

    I’m so impressed at how great teachers really are, and how much influence they can have on people’s lives. Well Done!

    Like

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