The Student Voice class at H.J. Cody kicked off their “How Do You Give?’ social media campaign on Nov. 15 at Timber Coffee. The campaign is part of the Youth in Philanthropy program by Red Deer District Community Foundation. (top row, left to right): Jacqui Renwick (teacher), Tatyanna Stoesz, Riley Bastarache, Faith Sapizak, Amber House, Cst. Tania Donaldson. (bottom row, left to right): Jenna Meier, Mia Bayless, Sydney Lindstrand, Kiah Ganton. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

H.J. Cody students show how they give to Sylvan Lake

The students kicked off a social media campaign and will be donating money to three charities

Nov. 15 is National Philanthropy Day and the students of the Student Voices class at Ecole H.J. Cody High School celebrated by kicking off their “How Do You Give?” engagement project.

H.J. Cody, in partnership with the Red Deer & District Community Foundation, used the kickoff to announce their commitment to a project called Youth in Philanthropy at Timber Coffee on Nov. 15.

“Youth in Philanthropy is a program where we come into the schools and we give the students $500 and we ask them to create small grants for charities,” said Erin Peden, coordinator of grants and administration for Red Deer & District Community Foundation.

Peden explained the students, as a group, determine their area of focus, decide what is a priority for them and then do site visits and interviews to decide who gets the money.

“The whole point is to determine what kind of impact they can make,” explained Peden, adding the students are also introduced to the idea of financial literacy.

“We want to make sure that they understand philanthropy now, how they can give of themselves, of their time, money or stuff and take that through adolescence and into adulthood,” continued Peden.

At the kickoff Thursday morning the students introduced their “How Do You Give?” social media campaign.

The Student Voices members have whiteboards with “I show philanthropy in my community by…” written across the top.

Throughout the day on Nov. 15, National Philanthropy Day, they will be going around and taking pictures of people showing how they give.

“They hold the board over their face and they just write how they give back to their community either by giving their time, their money or their stuff and we are going to post the pictures,” said Amber House, a Grade 12 student in the Student of Voices class.

The pictures will be posted to Instagram and Snapchat.

House shows philanthropy in her community by volunteering her time either at a church group, the mentoring program at H.J. Cody or the Flipside Youth Centre.

Classmate Kiah Ganton, Grade 12, said she showed philanthropy in her community by walking dogs.

“Our goal really is to just get it out there, let people know that we’re doing it and get people excited about it,” said Ganton of the campaign.

“That’s why we have all the hashtags and all that stuff so that if you want to do something that involves it you can just go on the hashtag and it will take you right to different pictures and different ideas,” added Ganton.

Posts on Instagram will feature the hashtag #howdoyougive.

Mayor Sean McIntyre was at Timber Coffee during the kickoff on Nov. 15 and took a picture with his #howdoyougive statement.

During the kickoff the students also revealed which charities will be getting their money.

As a team the students chose Sylvan Lake and District Victim Services Unit, Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter (CAWES) and Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre.

“We want to make our community a better place for our generation and the next generations to come,” commented House.

Cst. Tania Donaldson was also in attendance to answer any questions the students had about the Victim Services Unit.

Ganton explained the money going to Victim Services Unit will go towards all the volunteers and help them get more things they need.

“Like Cst. Donaldson said, whenever people come it’s with the clothes off their back, they have nothing,” Ganton continued. “Our money is just another way to help them get more supplies for those victims and more help for the volunteers.”

Also in attendance at Thursday’s kickoff was Principal Mike Garrow.

Garrow is thankful for Jacqui Renwick, teacher of Student Voice, for her passion and dedication to the students in her class.

Renwick was at the kickoff alongside her students and discovered the program after it started in Red Deer last year.

Follow the campaign on Instagram @studentvoice2019 and @rddcommfdn, or on Snapchat at svoice2019.


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Kiah Ganton writes how she shows philanthropy in her community with her classmates Faith Sapizak, Jenna Meier and Sydney Lindstrand after the announcement of their commitment to the Youth in Philanthropy project with the Red Deer & District Community Foundation. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

Mia Bayless gave the announcement on behalf of Student Voices. She explained the social media campaign will consists of pictures of people holding white boards over their faces being posted to Instagram and Snapchat to encourage people to recognize how they give to their community. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

Mayor Sean McIntyre was at Timber Coffee during the kickoff on National Philanthropy Day and took a picture with his #howdoyougive statement. Mayor McIntyre wrote he shows philanthropy in his community by “working and volunteering my time to build and celebrate Sylvan Lake.” Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Sylvan Lake News

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