May 1, 2024

I donated a pen to our school’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Falcon Fest. Earlier this year, I ran the book fair. Just last week, a popcorn sale took place to support one of the clubs. Since the fall, two fundraising lunches have taken place during the week – Subway sandwiches and PizzaPizza pizza. Then, too, there were candy grams, bake sales, and dance-a-thons. There is always someone asking for money.

I’m fortunate enough to work in an affluent area of the city. In fact, it’s one of the top ten wealthiest areas in Canada. The students aren’t all from the area, given that many are bussed in for the specialized programs that the school offers. Still, we’re not hurting.

Without this job, I wouldn’t be able to make pens or make an attempt at running a business. For that, I’m incredibly grateful. However, I’d get paid the same if I worked at another school, even one in a less affluent area of the city. The challenges would be different, of course, but my job description would remain the same.

A lot of talk about equity takes place. All of the funds we raise through all the fundraising efforts stay in the school’s coffers. Many other schools won’t raise in a year what we would by selling baked goods over a lunch hour. This is inequity.

It’s unfair that the students who can’t afford to have more will continue to have less, while those with means will benefit further. Partnerships need to be built to bridge this divide, to carry funds over, from one school to another. The students from both communities will gain new perspectives, develop empathy, and understand the value of mutually beneficial relationships.

I’m happy to have donated the pen but I did so with some reservation. It’s up to me to work toward changing the situation because I’m in a position to. I suppose I could start by writing some letters.


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