Black Friday and Cyber Monday are all about scoring deals on some brand new stuff, but after that we have Giving Tuesday- a day dedicated to giving back.
Students at Waterdown District High School did just that by launching the local Raising the Roof campaign to raise money for homeless Hamiltonians.
Sixteen year old Jocelyn Quesnell bravely stood up in front of some 400 students to tell them the story of how she became homeless.
“I was staying with my best friend and her family and I was sexually assaulted by her boyfriend. I wasn’t too welcome at my house at the time. I told my best friend what happened and she took his side over mine. So I really didn’t have anywhere to go.”
It’s stories like hers that inspired Waterdown High’s social justice group to take action by raising awareness and to help raise money to support the homeless by selling hats and socks.
“I live in Hamilton. It’s my home and I see it a lot when I walk around in my community. I really wanted the school to be aware of what was going on.”
“We do live in a well-off community and we don’t always see homeless issues and so I found it was very important for us to really show that if we care, everyone should care.”
Students will be selling the toques, socks and baseball hats during the lunch time hour all through this week. The Raise the Roof campaign typically raise around $10 000 for Welsley Urban Ministries each year.
That money goes right to programs like Wesley Youth Housing .
“Youths 16-21 years of age that are homeless or at risk of homelessness can live at Wesley for up to two years and learn life skills so they can live independently on their own.”
As for Jocelyn, she’s getting back on track. She is living at Wesley and working on finishing highschool.