A different kind of Halloween haul
The Grade 7 students aren’t collecting candy this year – they are making Halloween gluttony good by collecting food for those in need instead.
Erika Brummel, Hannah Skrinar, Ellie Burt, Ariel Falbo-Guida and Sophia Malbarosa started the L.U.V. (Lift Ur Voice) group at Allan Drive last week with a mission to give back to their community.
With Halloween coming up, they saw it as the perfect opportunity to kick-start their project. They will comb the streets Wednesday with a wagon in tow, collecting non-perishable food items for Caledon Community Services.
“We just thought it was a really good place to start,” said 12-year-old Brummel about their Halloween plans. The group wasn’t initially planning on going trick-or-treating, but had a recent change of heart.
“With not go for a good cause?” she said.
After hearing several stories of struggle from Caledon OPP Officer Christina Sanghra during a gang resistance program G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education And Training), the girls wanted to do something to help other people.
The idea to create the group came up one day at lunchtime. They all wanted to do something to help others, but didn’t exactly know how to do it.
After speaking with Sanghra and the school’s guidance counsellor, they decided to start the group.
“I thought it was absolutely a great idea,” said Sanghra, adding that she was immensely proud of the girls. “1 felt that they have a real heart.”
Sanghra is the officer in charge of facilitating the G.R.E.A.T. program, which is an eight-week course for Grade 7 students with the goal of gang and violence prevention.
While the L.U.V. group is still in its infancy, the girls already have other students that are participating in their cause this Halloween. They hope that word will spread, so that people are prepared with food to give.
They were a little nervous at first that the group might not take off the way they want it to. So, they are “taking it slow and taking it step-by-step,” according to Burt.
“It takes time to build up your name, what you want to do and how you’re going to help,” she acknowledged.
Instead of biting off more than they can chew in the beginning, they decided to make a small, attainable goal for each month in order to stay on track.
Since they started the group less than two weeks ago, they don’t have a firm plan for after Halloween yet.
But with the strength of their convictions, it’s hard to doubt their commitment.
“I think that if everybody contributes, a community can be a lot better of a place,” said Brummel.
Not only will the community benefit, but also hopefully other kids and residents will want to help out as well, added Skrinar.
“They will realize they can [help] too,” she said.
“Helping people makes the people you’re helping happy,” said Brummel. “And it makes you happy, too.”