It’s a massive undertaking to organize and it wouldn’t happen without Emma Totten, Coordinator of Global Partnerships and Real-World Connections, who works tirelessly to place the boys in over 30 charities. Parent Convenors Merle Armstrong, Julie Hepner and Tracy McManus were also instrumental in helping the day run smoothly.
The Day of Service relies on parent, alumni and staff volunteer supervisors. Bridget Flynn, mother of Grade 10 student Jed Van Dyke, has set aside the day for the past two years in order to volunteer.
“I look forward to it every year and I always set aside that day to be with the boys,” said Bridget, who supervised a group of boys in Grades 10, 11 and 12 at the Christian Resource Centre (CRC) in Regent Park. “I love the opportunity to be with the boys and get to know some of them while in those kinds of environments, while at the same time, have the opportunity to visit these places to volunteer in the community, and work with the boys to help with that.”
Bridget says the boys worked really hard and no one complained.
“They got brooms and swept two floors of the place, and then cleaned all the windows. We also helped with serving lunch, plating and serving over 200 plates of food,” said Bridget. “We were all able to interact with some of the staff and the people coming in and out. I felt like it was a really great example for the boys to see what the CRC does for the community and all of the people they’re helping.”
Jason Reil, father of Grade 11 student Jacob, was a first-time supervisor this year and says it won’t be his last.
“I wanted to give my time back to the community and spend time with the RSGC boys,” said Jason. “They’re exemplary kids when it comes to giving back to the community in terms of their politeness and professionalism. They were a good bunch of kids to work with and I enjoy any time I can around them.”
His group went to the Christie Ossington Neighbourhood Shelter & Housing where they went into the kitchen to help clean up and do food prep. Jason, says it was an excellent experience for the boys to have.
“We went out for lunch and talked a little bit about homelessness and how it affects people. It’s an everyday problem, not a one-off,” said Jason. “I think the boys had a good understanding after seeing it and having a chance to talk about it with their peer group. I think the experience was really good for them.”