High school students in London, Ont., volunteered at The Salvation Army Centre of Hope in November as part of the Come and Serve program of King’s University College. The program partners high schoolers with current King’s students to participate in various community service projects. The Salvation Army was one of nine organizations supported by the program.
Paulina and Jordan, Grade 11 students from Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School, were among 50 local high-school students taking part.
“It was a good way to spend the day,” Jordan says. “If we start small, even in London, we can help other communities. You can make someone’s week, month, just by this small gesture.”
“Even just having the opportunity to get a bag of food helps people have that sense of security, something to eat and not have to worry about it,” Paulina adds. “Just coming here for a few hours to pack food is really important to someone.”
Kevin O’Neil, assistant manager community services at the Centre of Hope, notes that Come and Serve has many benefits.
“I hope it opens students’ eyes to issues facing the vulnerable population in London. This shows them another side, teaches them about community,” O’Neil says. “They can learn quite a bit in six hours about what we do at community services, at the food bank at least. Plus, they are hard workers and they do it with a smile. They are on their feet the whole time, but they enjoy it.”
Photo: From left, Paulina and Jordan, students from Mother Teresa Catholic Secondary School, and King’s University College students Kaylin Pridding and Lisa Little sort food donations at London’s Centre of Hope
Photo and story by London Community News