Participants-Schools/Boards

Please share YOUR story! Email us at pcameron@tbcdsb.on.ca Please include your 1) name, 2) city and country. Also include pictures, videos and links!  Within a day or two your story will be shared in the appropriate space! Want to “Christmas Challenge” others? Visit our “You’ve Been Christmas Challenged” page and send them the link!

Christmas 2016 unnamed

Sir John A MacDonald PS, Kingston, Ontario, Canada Out awesome student council (made up of representatives from the grade 5 and 6 classes, organized a food drive and Jingle Bell Walk yesterday. Students had 5 days to bring in mon- perishable food items, tally their contribution and deliver items to our front foyer. When the grand total was done yesterday, students collected just shy of 5000 food items for the Kingston food bank! This is our highest number yet! We are very proud of our school and community for their generosity, kindness and giving spirit. What a great Sir John A. Macdonald PS tradition that makes a difference in our community!

Christmas 2015

Marylène Perron, Principal. Parkdale Elementary Montreal, Quebec, Canada  The Christmas tradition at the English Montreal School Board is for employees to help Santa by donating toys for kids between the ages of 4-5.  Many volunteer elves wrapIMG_1961 the gifts.  Once they are done, Santa’s volunteer trucks delivers the toys to Pre-K and K students in the school board’s inner city schools. Friday, Santa came to visit Parkdale Elementary to distribute the gifts.

Joyce Rostron Burnaby, B.C. Canada Dear Mr. Cameron and students, My Giving Story! Last week my daughter, who is a Grade 1/2 teacher in Surrey, B.C., acted on a situation that warmed my heart. During a phone conversation with one of her student’s mom, the mom broke down in tears. When asked what was wrong, she told my daughter that Christmas was really, really going to be hard this year. You see, it’s hard enough for the family to deal with a child who has special needs, but her husband had just got laid off work unexpectedly, meaning that anything extra for this family with 3 school-aged children was out of the question.  So, without hesitation, my daughter decided that this family was in need of some help. With a network of supportive staff and the school community at her fingertips, she was able to have 10 other families line up to assist  within 5 minutes of the call going out! That was amazing! She was able to check off everything on this family’s wish list for a brighter Christmas in addition to steps being made to help the dad find another job. The true spirit of giving to others was heartfelt with everyone involved.As we realize giving is what matters, in addition to helping other community organizations throughout the year, this year I decided to invite some wonderful international students (who cannot be home for the holidays) to my home for a traditional Canadian Christmas dinner with my family. The joy of giving and spreading happiness is what we love to do, too.

Lisa Murray Grade 2 Teacher, Vermilion Elementary School, IMG_0426Vermilion, Ohio, USA  Thank you for the Challenge. We decided to make cards for a retirement home in our community and we made cards for Safyre’s Christmas Cards. My class was so touched by this little girls story. http://www.khou.com/story/news/2015/12/15/200000-christmas-cards-and-counting-for-safyre/77361026/ Thank you for the reminder of what this season is about. Merry Christmas. 

Vermilion Highschool, Vermilion, Ohio, USA Our students wrote Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 7.07.33 AMholiday cards to our service men and women. Submitted by Lisa Deliz, Assistant Principal 

Gary Laucomer, Technology Integration Director, Morrill Public Schools, Morrill, Nebraska, USA When I taught third grade, my students had a school store made up of all hand-made items. They’d make duct tape wallets, hair ties, cards, baked goods, and survival bracelets, to name a few. They got to learn about concepts of economics such as supply and demand, profit and overhead, and profit margins. Once investors (my teaching partner and I) were paid back for the supplies we’d use the profit to provide for as many children as we could from the “Tree of Love” at our local bank. One year we made $500 in two days! The students were very emotionally invested and really reaped the rewards of giving to others…the true meaning of Christmas!

St.Bernard Catholic School, OCSB, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada The Grade 6 students have continued the annual tradition of creating Christmas stockings and collecting clothing for St. Joe’s Women’simage1 Centre in downtown Ottawa. As part of their unit on “The World We Want”, the students learned about global issues and attended National We Day. One of their local actions for Free the Children was to create these stockings. They were so happy to spread Christmas cheer to those in need. Submitted by Mrs. Azzi.

Debra Williams and Gr 3 classes at St. Margaret School, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada  We have been practicing carols to sing at Chartwell Retirement Residence next week! The children are really looking forward to singing with them for the Christmas season.

Mr. Dave Edwards, Meaford Community School in Meaford, Ontario, Canada Our wonderful grade 5/6 class is organizing the Christmas Coin Challenge at our school. Each morning at entry bell, for a week, students can put coins into their classes’ Fort Franpositive can. Each penny is worth a point. For example, $3.00 equals 300 points. Kids in my class are in charge of counting the amount each class donated and writing it down on a chart. The real fun begins at first break when students are invited to go down to the front entrance where each classes’ negative can is displayed along with the morning totals. They now have the opportunity to donate more coins, bills or canadian tire money. Students generally target classes that have lots of points because coins dropped in negative cans bring morning totals down. Negative numbers are common after break! Each class starts the next day where they left off the day before. The class with the most points at the end of the week wins a pizza party. All money is being donated to the local outreach. The kids all love participating and the beauty is that you really only need a penny to do so. Feel free to send me an email if you’d like more details.

Marissa Ferriolo’s Grade 4/5 class from Dryden, Ontario, Canada
CoinsWe have decided to take on a couple of projects for the Give 4 Christmas challenge. We will be giving the gift of our time and friendship by visiting Princess Court, a seniors home in our community to read stories and make Christmas crafts with the residents. We are also hosting a Christmas Store. Students will be creating works of art, baking they have made or selling their gently used items by donation only. They have decided to use the donations they receive to purchase items for the local pet shelter and go shopping to purchase food items for our local food bank. Thank you for Christmas Challening us! We are excited to give the gift of giving this holiday season! Update: Today our Grade 4/5 class visited Princess Court the senior home here in Dryden. It made the seniors feel really good inside that we went there. At first we were a bit nervous and didn’t really know what to expect and then we started talking with them and got to know them. Our class read stories and made Christmas cards with them. Some of us sat and chatted with the seniors. We sang Christmas carols with them as well. John, one of the seniors told all of the students as we were leaving that we were “sunshine in an otherwise dull and dreary day.” Thank you Mr. Cameron and your students for inspiring us to spread goodwill and Christmas Cheer. We had a wonderful time with the seniors and we plan to make monthly visits there.

Bella Ojala, Communication Assistant, North Star Community School, Atikokan, Ontario.  My nephew is currently in the Grade 6 class at St. Elizabeth’s School, and my sister is an Early Childhood Educator at the same school so it is a great pleasure for me to be participating in the Giving 4 Christmas Challenge! I have decided that I will take my workplace Secret Santa up a level by making it last for the remainder of the school year not only for the person whose name I selected, but for random staff members as well. My intention is to keep the spirit of giving alive at North Star long past the holiday season, building on our school’s bucket-filling philosophy and being a better role model for our students. Thanks for my Christmas Challenge! I’m feeling very inspired!

Vikki Rosnow Grade 3 Teacher St Francis School Hello students at St Elizabeth School.  We have accepted your Christmas Challenge!  We recently came across anScreen Shot 2015-12-15 at 3.34.23 PM
article in People magazine about a 10 year old boy, Andrew Peck, with a terminal illness.  He wasn’t expected to live until Christmas, but he is still going strong, so his family decided to begin celebrating Christmas in November.  In lieu of presents and donations, Andrew’s family requested that people send him cards, one of the things he enjoys opening the most.  We have decided to make our own homemade cards to send to Andrew.  Here is the link with the address for anyone else who would like to send cards: http://www.people.com/people/mobile/article/0,,20965021,00.html Merry Christmas! 

Mrs Young’s JK Class at Holy Family, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada In the spirit of the Christmas season, our JK class supports Shelter House.  It has come to our attention that they are in desperate need of three key items: 1) mugs of any type, 2) take out containers (clean 500 ml or larger yogurt-type container with lids are fine), 3) feminine hygiene products. Our student’s families have been contributing any or all of these items. Collection will be taken unti December 15th.

Rob Hole, Music Teacher, TBCDSB,  Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada Back in grade 4 at Green Acres School, my teacher, Mrs. Turner, taught us the song Six White Boomers. That song became an instant favourite of mine.  As I changed schools, other teachers did not sing that song.  After a while, I was starting to think that that song was a figment of my imagination and it did not exist, I dreamed the whole thing up.  As luck would have it when I was a student teacher, I ran into Mrs Turner again.  I shared her my story about her teaching us that song and not knowing where to find it.  She quickly produced me the song book where she had the song.  So from then on, I always teach my students the song Six White Boomers by Rolf Harris. Here is a link to the song…   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FdVXca9hys My challenge to all is to share your favourite Christmas song from when you were in elementary school!

Mrs. Agostino, Grade 3/4 Teacher St. Elizabeth School, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada I have completed my challenge. The students of St. Elizabeth School were entertained today by a Christmas song (Jingle Bell Rock) being played over the intercom. The students had fun singing and dancing along. Merry Christmas.

Mrs. Cameron and Mrs Hoard’s ELKP, St. Elizabeth School, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada We have taken on your class challenge. Today we spread holiday cheer by placing candy canes around St. Elizabeth School. The children were thrilled. We also have decided to sent a note home to our class requesting donations of mittens to be brought to the Shelter House when our Grade 5 and 6’s bring their yard sale food purchases. We are so excited to spread “warmth” this Christmas!

Derek Kochan, Teacher, Kakabeka Falls School, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada Kakabeka Falls School doesn’t back down from any challenge! We’re having a yard Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 8.50.27 PMsale again! Let’s get it on! Update: Yard Sale Pays Dividends! The students in Grades 4/5 and 6/7 at Kakabeka Falls District Public School held an indoor yard sale last  Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 8.50.08 PMweek and the proceeds have been used to help stock the cupboards at the Rural Food Cupboard! The students went shopping today at Odena Foods to purchase staples that will help out the Rural Food Cupboard during this very demanding time of the year. Awesome community spirit by the Kakabeka Falls Coyotes! Way to go!

Anna Vestner, Breakfast Club Coordinator, St. Elizabeth School, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada  I cook breakfast every day at st Elizabeth school! I watch for school buses and go outside and invite all children to come in and eat breakfast. Nearly 100 children attend daily. To see the children happy and content is most fulfilling! Also, any left over food is given out in the hallways upon the school bell in the event some children were unable to attend. Merry Christmas!

Laura Cress, Grade 3 Teacher-St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School-Nepean -Canada  It is my first year at this school and everyone has been so welcoming and kind. I am teaching Grade 3 and I wanted to model the idea of “Random Acts of Kindness”. I decided to take over one supervision duty for each of my Primary colleagues during the Season of Advent. The students helped out by writing a letter to each teacher with a beautiful Christmas picture. The letters were delivered on the first Monday of Advent. The students were so excited – both my own students and the students in each class where a letter was received. The staff members are so grateful for a small break during a very busy time of year. I have noticed my students doing small things in the classroom to help one another – offering to lend a pencil, share the special markers, or put away someone’s agenda. We plan to continue our “Random Acts of Kindness” during Kindness Week in February so that I can take over a supervision duty for my Junior colleagues. Thanks to you and your students for providing this opportunity to share all the wonderful ways people give to each other and support one another. Have a very blessed Christmas!

Madame Erdman, French Teacher- St.Elizabeth School-Thunder Bay-Canada I spread my gift of speaking French during the Christmas season by teaching the Grade 4 class my favourite French Christmas song!  Here is a clip of them singing…”Quand le Père Noël”. 

Mr. Grant, Principal- St.Elizabeth School-Thunder Bay-Canada I make sure every student has some money to spend at our annual Shelter House Yard Sale.  Keep up the great work Wildcats! Merry Christmas

Mr Johnson, Head Custodian-  St. Elizabeth School- Thunder Bay- Canada Thanks for challenging me for this Christmas! One of my gifts for this Christmas is volunteering at the Knights of Columbus spaghetti suppers.  All of the proceeds go to the charity of each council’s choice.  Our council 7332 usually donates to the Arthritis Society , which is a good choice to help those with this illness.  It gives me great pleasure to help out whoever I can, when I can.Thank you for this challenge! God bless and Merry Christmas.   

Mrs. Beaudry, Teacher- St. Elizabeth School- Thunder Bay- Canada Thank you for the challenge to spread goodwill around our school! I will do yard duty for 4 staff members tomorrow and have challenged them to do the same for someone else. May God bless all of you with the gift of kindness this Christmas!

Mrs. Ongaro and Mrs. Parres, Teachers- St. Elizabeth School- Thunder Bay- Canada Mrs. Ongaro and Mrs. Parres donated and will continue to donate time to deliver Meals on Wheels to those less fortunate in the city of Thunder Bay. We will be sharing our gift of musical arts and singing at the upcoming Advent Mass being held Friday, Dec. 18, 2015 at St. Elizabeth Church. We welcome all to come and celebrate with us! Also, we will be leading our school in Christmas songs in a sing-along on the last day of school! The gift of music connects all human life and is a universal language that expresses love. We encourage others to please continue with “Spreading Christmas Kindness”.

St.Martins & St.Elizabeth School Native Language Teacher.- Thunder Bay-Canada Boohzoo Bridney niindizhinikaas (Hello my name is Bridney)  Thunder Bay nindoojii ( I am from Thunder Bay). I have been challenged by some of my students to share the gift of kindness. In my classroom, being kind is something that I encourage my students to do on a daily basis, not just at Christmas. Each morning we begin with a prayer in Ojibwe to thank God for all we have. After this, we go around the room and give one compliment to the person next to us. This really creates a sense of community and belonging. This week, I will return the challenge to them as ask my students to compliment others throughout the weekend. This can be something as simple as, “you look nice today” or, “you’re a great friend”. Words can go a long way! Sometimes, giving doesn’t have to be a physical gift but rather a phrase of praise! Merry Christmas everyone and Happy Holidays!! :):)

Lee Lannen– St. Clare Catholic Schoo-Ottawa-Ontario- Canada At St. Clare Catholic School our students, their families and the staff have a very giving spirit, not only during the Christmas season but throughout the whole school year! One of our traditions at Christmas time is to collect items for the Shepherd’s of Good Hope shelter located here in Ottawa. Each grade is assigned the challenge of bringing in specific items. For example, this year the Grade 6 students are tasked with collecting products related to personal hygiene such as body wash, deodorant and face cloths. All collected items are placed in pillow cases and picked up just before the Christmas break. At pick-up time, a representative from the S of GH speaks to the students and explains who they are helping with their donations. This project initially started as a Grade 6 community service project and has become a much-anticipated event at our school. 

Jennifer Perrier-Raina‘s Grade 4 Class-St. Lenard’s School-Manotick-Ontario- Canada Thank you so much for putting together this awesome initiative! My grade 4 class at St. Leonard’s in Manotick, Ontario has accepted your challenge. We are putting together shoeboxes filled with toiletries, mitts, toques, socks and underwear for Ottawa’s homeless men and women. We hope we can make Christmas a little brighter for people who have so little.

Mr.Gatto (Technology Resource Teacher, TBCDSB)/Mr. Tracz and Pope John Paul II School – Thunder Bay- Canada Great work St. Elizabeth School!
Pope John Paul II School is giving back to the community again this year too!
When I was teaching @PJPII_TBCDSB Mike Tracz and I started a Christmas tradition of bringing my homeroom class to the CLE Coliseum to help with Christmas Cheer. The students unpacked and organized all the food coming in from the local community and schools. The students were overwhelmed at the amount of food donated but also, the amount of need within their own community. The staff would also hold a luncheon and all monetary donations would be donated in the school’s name.  I am so proud to still be apart of that school community even though I have moved onto another position with our board. This Christmas tradition has continued as an annual gift back from the school to our community and will continue for years to come! Keep up the great work all schools within #TBCDSB and others worldwide! Merry Christmas!

 Mr. Turner’s Grade 5 Class-St. Vincent School – Thunder Bay-Canada Hello Mr. Cameron’s class. Your very giving spirit has inspired our class at St. Vincent school. We are busy preparing for the first annual grade 5 bake sale. We will be donating all proceeds to the shelter house. Mr. Turner will be matching all of the proceeds. Mrs. Provenzano (principal) has offered to contribute on behalf of the entire school. The students are excited and engaged in doing all of the organizing for this event. I thank you for igniting the spirit of giving in us this holiday season.

 St. Martin School Community- Thunder Bay-Canada  Once again came together to help out children all over the world through participating in Operation Christmas Child. Families and friends donated very generously. Each one of our 32 classes was challenged to bring in gifts such as small toys, dolls, balls, school supplies and hygiene items. At the end of the day, 109 boxes were filled!! The Grade 3 class that helped organize all of the gifts was very excited. We are extremely proud of all the students for their spirit of giving!

 Thomas Middle School- Arlington Heights, IL- USA Our school gives to local families in need. Adopt-A-Family usually brings in over $10,000 from students and their families, letting us help ten families have a nicer Christmas. We collect for two weeks, then purchase items on each family’s wish list – a coffee maker, new boots, coats, toys, etc. Enjoy this season, and let’s give all year in many different ways! (Submitted by Joy Kerr)

St. Ann School- Thunder Bay- Canada Hi Mr. Cameron! I want to say thank you for the inspiration! Your school has ignited a fire world wide that will help many to have a Christmas they otherwise would not. St. Ann school humbly accepts your challenge. We will be doing a host of fundraising within our school community and we will be co ordinating with Help Make the Homeless Smile, a local organization that helps families that are in need and the homeless to receive the bare necessities that they need to survive. We hope to help make the homeless smile and bring a little more light into their Christmas this year. We will keep you posted (Submitted by Mrs. DeBruyne).

Christmas 2014

Jay Posick- Principal- U.S.A. Excited to get our school involved in this terrific effort. We will be introducing this at school on Monday and sharing with our parents following Thanksgiving. I’m excited for the opportunity for our school.                 Mr. Cameron,
Just checking in on our progress. Our students, staff, and families have been nothing short of amazing. Yearly we have a Community Giving Tree in our lobby covered with tags. The tags all have ages and genders of people in our community as well as what they’d like for the holidays. This year, all tags were taken from the tree by the end of last week. Our Student Senate did a homeroom fundraiser to collect money to purchase all of the remaining gifts. We raised over $600 as a school, enough money to purchase the remaining gifts with money left over to purchase food for needy families! I couldn’t be more proud to be their principal. I’ll do my best to send you pictures of the gifts tomorrow.
Proud to be a Merton Mustang!
Jay

Derek Kochan- Teacher-Kakabeka Falls School- Canada  Hey St. Elizabeth’s how’s it going? At Kakabeka Falls School we’re having two big fundraisers. We are going to run a yard sale just like you. We have also decided to show a Christmas movie in our gym.  The cost to get out of class and see the movie is $3.00. The proceeds we raise will also be used to purchase food from our local grocery store. The groceries will be delivered to the rural food bank out here.  Thanks for inspiring us!!

Well guys we were a bit nervous about having the yard sale but it was a big success. The younger children loved shopping and my students loved wheeling and dealing. We raised $491.95. Not bad for our first sale. We’re also expecting to raise another $25o tomorrow when we host a movie for the entire school. The kids can’t wait to go shopping. Thanks for challenging us!!

Leanne Zimmerman (Past Student)- Teacher Candidate-  Kakabeka Falls School- Canada As a past student, I can still remember the excitement and fun of the yardsale and the shopping, and then the eyeopening experience of taking the food to the Shelter House. It’s so incredible to know that you still do this every year! 🙂 So excited that I can be a part of it with Kakabeka Falls School this year, too! 🙂

Leigh Wood- Resource Teacher- TBCDSB- Canada  Hi Mr. Cameron’s Class! Just wanted to let you know about our annual Christmas tradition of giving back to our community. Each year, my special girlfriends and I gather together, and instead of exchanging gifts between one another, we donate to a local organization. This year, we are collecting special donations of items for two families supported through Children’s Aid Society. We always get so excited putting the baskets together, knowing that they will make someone’s Christmas holidays a little merrier! Merry Christmas to YOU and thank you for all of the fantastic things you do in your school community!

Melanie Biesenthal- Math Resource Teacher- TBCDSB- Canada Dear Grade 6 Students and St. Elizabeth School,
Congratulations on continuing a tradition that helps make our community a better place. Our family each year participates by donating to local organizations and to Operation Christmas Child. We will continue to find ways as a family to help and volunteer in our community. Thank you for inspiring us and others to do the same. Merry Christmas!

Jacqui Workman- ELKP Teacher- St. Francis School- Thunder Bay-Canada Hey Grade 6 students at St. Elizabeth School! We the ELKP classes from St. Francis! What a great idea! You have inspired us! We are performing a play this year called The Story of Jesus. We will be selling DVDs to parents and the proceeds will be going to the Shelter House in Thunder Bay. Hope the donations help you help those in need!

Michael Tracz – Teacher – PJPII Senior Elementary – Thunder Bay – Canada Grade 6 Students and St. Elizabeth School,
Congratulations on all of the hard work you are doing this Christmas season and the inspiration you are giving to others. Our school is participating in the Christmas Cheer Drive. We are collecting cans and other non-perishable goods and putting them under Christmas trees in our lobby for everyone to see. As well, one of our grade 7 classes will be going to the Christmas Cheer Drive and working for the day. Some students will be unloading the vehicles that will bring food from all of the schools and the community. Other students will be helping to sort the food. Thank you SO much for the inspiration you have given us!

 Natasha Shack & K-Class/Best Buddies of Fort Frances High School- Canada Hello from Fort Frances!
Way to go St. Elizabeth’s ~ you get an “A” for effort in inspiring all of us to remember the true intention of the Christmas season.
Our K-level class at Fort Frances High School “adopts a family” through the Salvation Army. The students, Educational Assistants, Best Buddies’ group and teachers purchase food items for the grocery hamper, as well as, gifts of clothing and toys for the children and parents. Each family comes with a specific description (so we know best how to buy gifts for them ~ it doesn’t help to buy a one year old a LEGO set! ). It’s a great feeling to see all the grocery good and gifts come in and know that the charity stays local to our town.
We will keep checking your website to continue to be inspired by the participants….
Keep up your awesome work ~ thanks for passing it on !

Lisa Butler, 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher, at Hershey Middle School-Hershey, Pennsylvania-U.S.A Good evening from Hershey, Pennsylvania! Our middle school (grades 6-8) has a yearly food drive leading up to Thanksgiving. For 15 days the students and teachers are challenged to bring in non-perishable food items. Our goal is always 10,000, while we have never accomplished that, we are still very successful. For 2014, the food drive brought in 9,052 items, which will provide food for our community for 4 months.
I love what your school does to extend the service project beyond just a single event. Keep up the giving and caring. I hope you story inspires other schools to find a way to make a difference in their own community

Nontobeko Motsa, Teacher- -Swaziland, AFRICA I love your idea! I am a teacher as well, when I first ventured into the proffession I was posted at a school in Lavumisa Swaziland. This is the most rural area in Swaziland and its highly affected by poverty, HIV leaving a lot of orphans behind. Since then with the help of friends, we throw them a Christmas party and we have been doing it for three years now. We hav a facebook group called Phash Life 4 All Initiative.

Mr. Moore, Mrs. Masson-Haggery, Mrs. Wright, Mrs. DeRocco St. Martin School, Thunder Bay, ON-Canada Our classes are going to take you up on your challenge by donating the money from our  Primary Christmas Play’s silver collection to a local charity. I (Mr. Moore) have also passed along your message to my brother and he has just replied that he will do what he can and has passed your message along to other individuals he has taught with!

Deb Leschuk, Chairperson of Student Services, St. Ignatius High School, Thunder Bay ON – Canada At my school, we do a lot of Christmas charity projects. One that is near and dear to my heart is Christmas hampers for the Children’s Aid Society for older teens who are living on their own. Many of my colleagues contribute gift cards, or items on the youths’ “wish lists” and we tuck in lots of treats too! The CAS volunteers deliver the gifts for us, so we can all be Secret Santas and help young people who struggle with adult bills and responsibilities. It’s nice to “spoil the kids” a little – even if we don’t know who they are! I applaud St. Elizabeth’s initiatives – it’s so nice to see people work together in community to help and share……that’s really what being in God’s family is all about! Continue your good work and enjoy your holidays!

Gino Nerino – Principal of Bishop Gallagher Senior Elementary School, Thunder Bay ON- Canada As a former St. Elizabeth School Principal, I was witness to the wonderful work that the students and teachers have done over the years. At my current school, Bishop Gallagher, we contribute to those less fortunate through our participation in the Christmas Cheer Campaign. We have also made a donation to the Kids Help Phone Line from money we raised during our Technology Day. As well, this year BG Staff used funds raised through Dress Down Days to make a donation to the Underground Gym. Part of these funds will be used to provide a Christmas dinner for various members of the club. Lots of great acts of giving are happening in all our schools. Congratulations to St. Elizabeth for leading the way!

Mrs. Moore and Miss Fritshaw’s Grade 1 Classes – St. Francis School, Thunder Bay ON- Canada  It’s so nice to see young people caring about others in our community. At St. Francis the Grade 1 classes are visiting Hogarth Riverview Manor to help bring joy to the residents there. Many of them do not have family that visit them at this time of the year. So the Grade 1’s will be singing songs and making a craft with the residents that live there. We are sure this will be a positive experience for both the children and the residents. We are looking forward to wishing them a merry Christmas!

Aviva Dunsiger – Grade 1 Class, Dr. Davey School, Ancaster, ON- Canada My Grade 1 students noticed that many children in the school didn’t have mittens or gloves to wear outside. Their hands were too cold to play. We collected over 100 pairs of new mittens and gloves and created a store where we could give them away (for free) to help students stay warm this holiday. The Grade 1’s went around to take orders for the store, packaged up the mittens and gloves, and delivered them to the classrooms. We even bundled up some extras, so that grades of students would have mittens or gloves to borrow if they needed them. You can see our delivery in action through today’s blog post and hear students reflect on what it felt like to help others: http://missdunsiger.commons.hwdsb.on.ca/2014/12/05/daily-shoot-miss-dunsigers-class-day-66-2/.

 St. Mary School, Massey, Ontario, Canada ClothingGift and Food Drive Hi everyone. The staff and students of St. Mary, Massey have decided upon a number of initiatives at this time of year. First, to replace our original tradition of holding a staff KK, all staff have decided to donate money to the local food bank so that the organization can purchase turkeys for the hampers being distributed this season. As a school, we have also started a”Giving Tree,” and families are asked to donate winter wear, toys and food to be placed under the tree. These items also make their way to the food bank. Then, on the evening of our Christmas concert, family members must pay their way into the venue with another food item for the local drive. This food will be brought to the food bank in the new year, and our Junior Level students will help to stock the shelves. Some great stories out there! Thanks for sharing.

Mr. Don Grant, Principal, St. Elizabeth School, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada St. Elizabeth School community continues to give in so many ways as we prepare for Christmas. In addition to the Annual Shelter House Fundraiser, the following activities help all of us to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas: 1) Collecting Christmas Cheer donations 2) Providing donations to fill hampers for 2 of elementary schools. 3) Staff donation to Toys for Tots from Dress Down Days. 4) Giving hampers for our own school families in need. 5) Grade 6 students assisting with meals at Shelter House. Congratulations to Mr. Cameron, Mrs. Barch and students for demonstrating the benefits of social media! Great to read so many wonderful stories!

 Sharon Moskovitz Grade 3 Class Toronto District School Board, Toronto, Ontario, Canada  What a great project your class is working on. My school donates to several charities throughout the month of December as well. Giving is very important at our school. One charity my class is working on is Right to Play. We are trying to raise money to help 1 child play for a year. In the new year we hope to continue the gift of giving and do another charity very important to our class: http://changeforkids.ca We also continue running charities throughout the year as a school and plan different charity events each month to help others. We are so happy to see all the other amazing charities people around the world are helping with. Thanks for sharing.

 North Carolina, USA: What a cool project! Congratulations! Our school is doing something similar, although your effort is much more high profile! We have been working with Toys for Tots and have raised >$2500 so far, as well as a separate drive for clothing and food, resulting in several huge boxes ready to be delivered to our local food pantry and thrift stores next week. The students, parents, and staff have all gone above & beyond this year to reach out to help our neighbors in need. What a great life lesson for us all!

Belgrano Day School, Year 6 Students, Buenos Aires, Argentina We are writing from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our school is called  Day School, we are a Year 6 class, and we also help on Christmas.Our community helps by donating food and decorating Christmas boxes. The whole school participates actively and enthusiastically. We love to help!

Belgrano Day School, P4 graders, Buenos Aires, Argentina Hi! We are P4 graders at Belgrano Day School in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Christmas gives us an opportunity to help others. What do we do? We decorate boxes especially prepared for this occasion. We ask our kids to bring things from home such as glitter, beads, drawings, ribbons or any other kind of useful material. Once we have finished with the decoration, we put some food inside the boxes. Help means a lot to us! Some kids volunteer to come to school to help get the boxes ready on time, even if they´re already on holidays.

Mrs. Tessier and staff and students at Our Lady of Fatima School in Chapleau Hello! At Our Lady of Fatima School in Chapleau, the staff and students participated in Theme Week. Each day had a theme and the cost of participation was a non-perishable food item. The staff also joined forces with Ecole Sacre-Coeur staff to blitz the town with a food drive. All food and monetary donations collected have either been brought to Sacred-Heart Church or will be brought there shortly so that the church committee can get baskets together for families and people facing financial challenges this year. Lastly, the school will visit the Activation Department at the hospital to sing Christmas carols and to visit with the residents there and spread some holiday cheer.

Mr. DiCastri, Principal, St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Victoria, BC, Canada we are St. Joseph’s Elementary School in Victoria, BC. We have had a “Toques, Socks, and Mitts Drive” this month, along with a “Coats-for-Kids Drive” with the Knights of Columbus, also a December outreach project. As well, we are assisting a needy family in the parish. That is the kind of giving that embodies the Christmas spirit! Blessings and Peace!

Karen Craib, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada  I was asked to tell you what I’m doing this Christmas. I’m wearing my 18 year old antlers, which I received from a co-worker on my first Christmas without my Dad.
I have a box of mini candy canes which I’ve been handing out to people at 2 local coffee shops – Seattle Coffee House and the Metropolitan Moose.
I was just looking at Woman’s World magazine and read the following:
“Enjoy a candy cane for instant smiles! The scent of peppermint is study-proven to light up the brain’s pleasure center, slashing stress 25%”.
I spent this year going through cancer treatment. It was a challenge. I’m happy to still be here and I wanted to share that joy with strangers.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas.

Newtownwhite Educate Together National School, Ireland  Hello to you all in Mr Cameron’s class. We in Newtownwhite Educate Together National School in Ireland are delighted and excited to hear that you all enjoy our school blog. We have a newly formed Student Council who as our first task organised a Pyjama Day in school before Christmas. All the students and staff then made a money donation and we GAVE this money to Focus Ireland, a group who work with homeless families. We hope this will become a tradition in our school. You can check out our photographs at http://newtownwhitens.scoilnet.ie/blog/