The HTS United Way Campaign - Raising Money and Awareness While Building Lifelong Skills

James Darling, Director of Character and Leadership Development
Walking the halls of HTS during United Way week, a visitor to the school might wonder at the noise, the chaos, and the candy! But if they were to pause and look a little closer or listen a little longer, they would also see and hear some of the incredible ways that students can learn and grow when our community comes together for a common cause.

In the Lower School, students flash catchy signs and spin inventive homemade wheels, offering their peers the chance to win a prize for a loonie. The industrious students in charge of each fundraising booth carefully handle money, remembering also to work their shift or order more prizes. It’s a collective effort and one that teaches students responsibility and that helping others can be both rewarding and fun.

In the Middle School, the tone of the selling and fundraising changes, maybe even gets a little louder, but there is no less of an opportunity for students to shine. There is again the responsibility of handling money. There are those tasked with buying food or getting it approved by the kitchen. There are others promoting and advertising an idea, and still others who are simply asked to give their time or allowance. The energy in the Middle School hall is palpable as the positivity around giving back to one’s community becomes a reality.

In the Senior School, with more independence comes a greater opportunity to live the real meaning of charity and service while learning leadership skills along the way. While food continues to dominate the proceedings, students also become more inventive with the prospect of escape rooms, raffles for hockey tickets, and even a zombie run competing for students interest and investment. In the middle of all of this activity are homeroom reps practising their skills in budgeting, scheduling, and motivation to name a few of the necessary skills.

Clearly, with the joyful evidence ringing down every hallway, HTS students from K-12 are learning important skills and lessons with every sour key sold. Beyond the fun and the finger food, lies the chance to better understand how much effort it takes to make a difference and that when we give back, we should do so freely, with a smile on our face.