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A time to give and a time to receive

We devote much time and effort at MAC looking toward what will come next in the lives of our students. It’s a required part of our mission to re-imagine possibilities while laying the foundations for success, however defined, in a world where much remains unknown. 

And while this requires that we expend considerable effort in contemplating what might come we are always mindful of where we’ve come from. The lessons of history are many and varied with some incredibly relevant advice originating in the distant past. Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor from 161 to 180. I have quoted him before in this blog. He was a very wise fellow with lots of good advice and could be considered the pioneer of the self-help book having penned The Emperor’s Handbook. 

Marcus Aurelius knew the secret of how to live the good life amid often catastrophic circumstances, how to find happiness and peace when surrounded by misery and turmoil, and how to make the right choices with little regard for self-interest.

At this time of year when our students actively pursue opportunities to give back to the community I am reminded of this quote:

“Your days are numbered. Use them to throw open the windows of your soul to the sun. If you do not, the sun will soon set, and you with it.”
Marcus Aurelius, The Emperor’s Handbook

Forever, MAC students have eagerly and willingly found innovative ways to participate in the community beyond the walls of this school and this year has been no exception.

This year for our winter initiative, Mrs. Aitkenhead’s Grade 6 students organized a sock drive for Socks 4 Souls Canada. They asked MacLachlan families and staff to bring in new, warm, adult-sized socks. In addition to teaching our students the importance of taking action and giving to those in need, there was a house competition. 

Socks 4 Souls Canada is a volunteer-run organization committed to contributing warmth, comfort, dignity, mobility and health to people experiencing homelessness, by providing them with new, clean socks. Since the organization began in February 2015, Socks 4 Souls Canada has collected and donated over 750,000 pairs of socks in Toronto and the GTA. 

Socks are the most needed, but least donated item of clothing to homeless shelters. All sock donations will be given to homeless shelters and outreach services that share the desire to improve the quality of life of homeless communities in the Greater Toronto Area. Socks 4 Souls’ goal is to continue to grow the distribution of socks across Canada to ensure every person experiencing homelessness has access to a pair of new socks every two weeks.

Thank you to all MacLachlan families who participated in this year’s initiative! With your help, 1,802 pairs of socks were donated during our drive! A special thank you to the Grade 6 students who sorted, counted and packaged all the socks to be sent off to Socks 4 Souls.

The winning house with 478 donated socks was Sumner, followed closely by Chisholm with 465. Congratulations!

Another wonderful initiative was led by the Grade 10 Civics class. Under the direction of Ms. Campbell, the students led a clothing drive during the first week of November for Safetynet Children & Youth Charities. Safetynet was founded in 2006 by Oakville resident Bill Shields, after 30 years in the field of social services. Since 2006 Safetynet has supported over 4,000 families. 

A shout-out to MacLachlan parent Sophia Grochmal, who is a member of Safetynet’s Board of Directors.

During the drive the class collaborated to design and implement a series of educational and fundraising initiatives to benefit the charity. They were able to raise $215 and collect over 1,100 pieces of clothing. Congratulations to the team!

These kinds of initiatives are wonderful examples of how our students understand the critical role of giving back and we are all very proud of them.

Author: Lisa M. Duranleau | Executive Director

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