By Tracey Arial
A third and final group of 16 Allion Elementary School Grade 6 students will visit St. Michael’s Mission in Montreal to help feed the homeless next Tuesday.
According to a press release, two other groups from the LaSalle borough school made similar visits on Oct. 30 and Jan. 29.
“I never spoke to a homeless person before,” said Matthew Glenane, who took part in the Jan. 29 visit. “At first I was nervous, but now I know that homeless people are people like us.”
Prior to going, the children raised money by asking for donations and conducting fundraising activities.
Next Monday, they’ll spend the day preparing and packing sandwiches. Student supervisor, Terry Clahane, who came up with the idea for the visits, will also prepare a stone soup out of whatever good food is available that day.
On Tuesday, the students will serve the soup and sandwiches at the Mission at 11:30 a.m. They’ll also help in the kitchen, sort donated clothing, organize the food pantry and whatever else needs doing while they’re there.
After lunch, they’ll join St. Michael’s patrons for an art therapy session and singalong.
Student Tiana-Emily Orlando, who participated in the Jan. 29 day, said the experience taught her the value of being kind.
“Every time I saw a homeless person I thought we needed to give money,” she said. “I never realized a simple hello or offering of food was enough—from now on, I will say hello.”
Principal Carmela di Iorio also participated in the Jan. 29 visit on. She said students heard good advice from everyone they met.
“Many of the homeless encouraged our students to stay in school, study hard and listen to the parents and teachers,” she said. “It certainly was a humbling experience for all and an unforgettable one.”
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