Meet Sami Wallace and Daniella Rivett, two grade 12 students at Bishop Strachan School in Toronto. They became fast friends through their mothers, who have been the best of friends since kindergarten.
Seeing their mothers take part in a Covenant House Toronto Sleep Out event sparked an idea for the two students: “Hearing how much this event inspired our mothers made us want to organize our own event to spread awareness and raise funds for youth at Covenant House,” explains Sami.
“We also wanted the opportunity for all the girls in our grade to get together one last time for a good cause,” Daniella adds.
Inspired by Covenant House’s annual Sleep Out fundraisers, the two young women created a similar event. They built an online fundraising page and encouraged their peers to tell their friends, family and community. Sixty girls from their grade went to the event, along with their teachers. They all slept outside for one night with a sleeping bag and a piece of cardboard.
The students invited guest speakers Marnie Grundman, a homelessness survivor, and Karen McGavin, a Covenant House front line worker, to speak to participants about the issues and Covenant House services.
“Hearing them speak made us more aware about how serious the issues are,” Sami noted. “A lot of the youth staying at Covenant House are from the GTA, and we both realized it could be any of us out there.”
Through hard work and a supportive network, the students surpassed their original goal and raised a total of $2,100!
Daniella and Sami are very proud of what they’ve done and also how much they learned along the way: “We think other people should know how close to home this issue is. Homelessness can happen to anyone, and Covenant House welcomes all kinds of youth with open arms.”
Learn how you can help fundraise for Covenant House: