Children raise funds for Ste. Justine Hospital

By Michelle Pucci
On Friday, students at Démosthène Greek elementary school in
Chomedey were asked to dig into their small pockets to support patients at Ste.
Justine children’s hospital, to contribute to Hellenic Social Services of
Quebec’s annual Christmas drive.
“The generosity that we see is incredible,” said the
school’s principal, Matrona Mavrakis.
This is the first year that students made $5 donations to
the children’s hospital in return for getting to trade their light blue and navy
uniform for whatver clothes they want to wear.
Those who gave $5 to Ste. Justine were also allowed to light
a candle on the hospital’s Christmas tree. Children who made donations were also
given a light bulb to decorate and hang on a tree by the school’s main entrance.
The school is also in the middle of a Christmas fundraising
drive run by the HSSQ with other Socrates-Démosthène campuses.
Under the same Christmas tree, children can leave new or
well-kept toys, wrapped up and marked with the gender and age group of the intended
recipient. Schools are also collecting loonies, toonies and canned foods.
“There’s a sense of pride that they’re able to help other
children and families within our community,” said Mavrakis. “We try to
communicate that it could be your neighbor, it could be another child in your
It helps bring meaning to the idea of Christmas as a
charitable season, to help those less fortunate which, as reported in The Suburban, is
not uncommon in Laval.
The Ste. Justine drive is new this year because one of the
staff members was personally touched.
“It’s the first year that I have time to breathe,” said
second-grade teacher Isabelle Roy. Her daughter Juliette was diagnosed with
developmental malformations in her brain two-and-a-half years ago and has been
going to Ste. Justine’s for regular check-ups ever since.
Roy said she’s always explained the situation to students
and parents, who know about her daughter’s illness, and organized the
fundraiser for the first time this year.
“They’re so happy to contribute,” she said about the
students. “As soon as they arrived, they took off their coats and ran over to
When The Suburban
met with Roy, she had only had time to count half of the donations in
classrooms, which so far added up to almost $500.

“They’re aware that it could be them who falls ill and is in
need of hospital care,” Roy said.

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