One of the values of St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Victoria, BC, is to help others. With this in mind, students, parents and staff have opportunities throughout the year to support various organizations. One of those is Matthew’s House. Michelle Cavin, who works at the school as a Special Education Assistant, says choosing to support Matthew’s House was easy.
“It’s such a worthy cause,” she says, adding that since Matthew’s House is operated by Communitas Supportive Care Society, a faith-based organization, it was a good fit for their school.
This year, the students will participate for a second time in Coffee Morning for Matthew’s House. This fundraising event is brilliantly simple: put on some coffee, provide some goodies, invite people to attend and remind them to bring a donation for Matthew’s House. Those who sign up by March 26th can request free coffee from Starbucks. At St. Joseph’s, Coffee Morning takes on a unique twist.
“We have what we call a ‘Civvies Day’ where the students get to come to school in their casual clothes instead of their uniforms,” Cavin explains. “They each bring a twoonie (or more) to donate to Matthew’s House. Starbucks serves coffee in the staff room for all the parents and staff and we provide information about Matthew’s House.”
Last year, their event raised over $700 but Cavin hopes to increase that amount this year by adding some incentives for students.
“I want to get the students more involved by adding a prize for the classroom that raises the most money,” she says. “I will also be putting up more flyers and posters around the school with information about Matthew’s House that they can read as they walk down the hallways.”
Cavin’s experience as a Special Education Assistant gives her a unique perspective on the importance of a resource like Matthew’s House. She has worked as a service provider to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and has witnessed the many extra demands that are placed on their parents.
“It is often difficult for some parents to get the rest they need, especially for those whose children have more complex health care needs,” she says. “I see great value in a place like Matthew’s House where parents can feel secure, knowing that their child will be well taken care of.”
Cavin encourages other schools to get involved in supporting Matthew’s House with a Coffee Morning fundraiser of their own. Getting children involved is another way for schools to give students an opportunity to learn more about children with different needs and empowers them to support their peers.
“Since Matthew’s House supports children, who better to get involved than children themselves?” she says.
The Coffee Morning at St. Joseph’s Elementary will host their Coffee Morning for Matthew’s House on April 27th as part of their Civvie’s Day. (The secondary school, St. Andrew’s, is also planning to participate on a date to be determined.)