March 22, 2012
By Simon Chambers
by Debbie Boyd-Chisholm
When asked about the meaning of Valentine’s Day, most young children generally know that it has something to do with love. Some older children will even make fun of the “mushy” romantic celebrations of love that can be the world’s focus on February 14th. This year, the students of the Sunday School at Saint Stephen’s Anglican Church in Ottawa took a different approach to Valentine’s Day by demonstrating the meaning of God’s love for others.
Saint Stephen’s Sunday School consists of approximately 20 children, ranging in age from pre-school to 12 years old. Just before Christmas, the teachers challenged the children to select a project that would help others in the world. Using the brochure that was distributed at Christmas by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund, the children unanimously chose a project that helps to feed school children in Haiti. The PWRDF program feeds one Haitian school child for six months for $25. Following the devastating earthquake in 2010, this is likely the only hot meal that they will get in a day. The children of Saint Stephen’s could identify with the hunger of another child and fully understand the importance of eating a hot lunch during the school day.
With the annual Vestry meeting falling two days before Valentine’s Day, a bake sale was planned to raise funds for the project. The children designed advertising posters and, with the help of their parents and teachers, brought in home-made heart-themed baked goods and sold these along with hot chocolate during the Vestry meeting potluck.
Thanks to the generosity of the Saint Stephen’s community, $625 was raised, which will provide a hot lunch for 25 schoolchildren in Haiti for six months. To announce this wonderful news, the Sunday School children made and decorated twenty-five faces and displayed them at the front of the church.