Holy Name of Mary College School (HNMCS), an independent all-girls’ school in Mississauga, Ontario, is committed to paying it forward. On GivingTuesday in 2016, the students spent more than 1,200 hours in community service. In a single day, they packed a shipping container with food for a developing country, served more than 100 meals, and filled, addressed and stamped more than 1,400 envelopes. Working with MississaugaGives, each year HNMCS faculty organizes placements across the Greater Toronto Area, ranging from food banks to a seniors’ home, the Art Gallery of Mississauga, the Archdiocese of Toronto, Ecosource and St. Felix Centre.
As the students reach out to help others, they grow in awareness of the needs around them, appreciate all they have, and develop their commitment to help those less fortunate. No matter which organization they support, students speak of being moved by people’s needs and filled with gratitude and a desire to continue to give back to others. On GivingTuesday, they helped at least 1,000 people directly, but their service, founded on the school’s Core Values of Respect and Compassion, has a much broader impact and contributes to building an international culture of giving.