Toronto students take pride in ‘saving lives’ – Metro US

Toronto students take pride in ‘saving lives’

Since a devastating earthquake struck Haiti Jan. 12, schools across Toronto have been raising money to help the island nation.

One school held a bake sale last week and raised more than $1,300. Another held a fundraising walk and raised $3,000. Another is planning a benefit concert. In all, $14,000 has already been raised for Haiti by Toronto schools.

During an assembly yesterday at Monarch Park Collegiate, where the halls are covered with newspaper clippings of the catastrophe, students from 12 inner-city schools received words of gratitude from delegates including Lt.-Gov. David C. Onley.

“A torch has been passed to you,” Onley said. “You are exemplifying the best of what it means to be Canadian.”

Free the Children founder Craig Kielburger, who just returned from a weeklong mission to Haiti, spoke to students about the devastation he saw and the impact of money donated. “Thank you for literally saving lives,” he said.

The auditorium was silent; all eyes were on the images flashing across the screen of the children Kielburger met in Haiti.

Before presenting Kielburger with a $3,000 cheque, Monarch Park student council president Wendy Liao said: “I have never been more proud to call myself a student of Monarch Park.”

Free the Children will turn the $3,000 into $30,000 worth of medical supplies through a partnership with World Medical Relief.

Kielburger implored students not to forget about Haiti. “It needs ongoing, long-term support,” he said. “Spread the message.”

Correction – January 26, 2010, 9:34 a.m. EST: A previous version of this story incorrectly spelled Wendy Liao’s surname as Lau. It has now been corrected.