Kids raise thousands to help those hit hardest by COVID-19

Story by CBC Kids News • Published 2020-12-17 08:00

Students made and sold hundreds of masks

Happy Holidays! Every day this week, CBC Kids News is featuring Canadian kids who are raising money for people in need during the holiday season. Here is one of those kids helping out a good cause.

A group of students in Toronto’s Catholic District School Board has been working to help communities most affected by COVID-19.

Over the last month, nearly 30 students involved with the TCDSB student senate have been making and selling masks to raise funds for families in the Toronto area who need support.

They’re aiming to help people of colour and low-income communities specifically, based on research showing that these groups are being hit hardest by COVID-19.

Getting mobilized

Shania Muthu, a 17-year-old who works on the TCDSB student senate as the director of social justice, said the senate wanted to give back to the community during COVID-19.

Shania Muthu said she’s been ‘amazed’ by the hard work her team has put in to help struggling families. (Image submitted by Shania Muthu)

“We wanted to do something about it because so many families have been hit so disproportionately,” she said. “Some areas have higher rates than others.”

She said her family was one of those to be hit especially hard by the pandemic.

“I come from a background of family where my parents are immigrants, and I identify with the BIPOC community, so this really hits hard for me,” she said.

BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous and people of colour.

Shania recruited nearly 30 students from around Toronto to get on board.

They decided they would sell masks to raise money, since it would also address a need for PPE.

Fatima Saadatfard is one of many students who have put in nearly 30 hours over the last few weeks to make and sell masks. (Image submitted by Shania Muthu)

The group started contacting their local politicians to help spread the word and to find the communities that are most affected.

This included MPP and former Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne, who Shania said made a donation and told them about areas in her Don Valley West riding that could use some help.

So far, the group has raised a little more than $2,000.

Serenity Bui is one of the committee members selling both two and three-layer masks. (Image submitted by Shania Muthu)

Shania said they plan to use that money to buy grocery store gift cards and baby supplies, which they will then provide to community centres and non-profits in those hard-hit areas.

She said she’s been superinspired by how hard her team has worked to get these communities what they need.

“The effort that the team has put in this far is crazy,” she said. “Most people have put in 30 hours over the span of two weeks. They’ve just been amazing.”

Check out these other kids helping out a cause this season

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