School List

Sparking Big Change

Sparking Big Change
Posted on 02/28/2019

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16

Ever since attending WE Day in 2013, the Social Justice teams at St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School and St. John Paul II Catholic School in Barrie have been advocating for childhood cancer.  Inspired by a video about the Tyler Robinson Foundation (TRF), the students immediately knew they wanted to be involved. The foundation was founded by the popular band Imagine Dragons in honour of Tyler Robinson who passed away in 2013 after his battle with cancer.  It provides emotional and financial support to families of children coping with cancer treatment.

Students were encouraged to find ways to offer support to local families who are in similar situations. Candlelighters Simcoe quickly found a place in the students’ hearts. The organization provides social and emotional support to families but does not have the means to assist with financial hardship.  Recognizing this need, the students volunteered and successfully fundraised for the organization.

Wanting to expand their efforts they reached out to the Tyler Robinson Foundation where an agreement was reached for the three groups to work together.  This marked the TRF’s first venture outside of the United States and has resulted in more than $60,000 raised from fundraising and grants going to help families in Canada.

Most recently, the Social Justice teams from St. Peter’s and St. John Paul II have been working with WE Schools and the Youth Services Initiative and were invited to film a video about their journey at the WE Global learning centre in Toronto.  

Both schools will be hosting their 5th annual fundraiser assemblies on March 1, with the director and school outreach ambassadors for TRF travelling from Las Vegas as special guests.  Tyler’s brother, Jesse will be in attendance, as well as one of the families they have assisted.

We would like to thank Kelly Morrison, social justice leader at St. John Paul II Catholic School in Barrie, who brought the group’s amazing work to light, and to the members of the social justice teams who have been dedicating their time to helping others. You are all amazing representations of our Catholic values and perfectly demonstrate how a small spark can ignite big change.