Lakeshore Catholic Student Donates $5,000 to Port Cares From Project Prize
(June 17, 2021 - PORT COLBORNE) Kyla Payne, a grade ten student at Lakeshore Catholic High School delivered a cheque for $5,000 to Port Cares today; a prize from her Youth Philanthropy Initiative project that was written about the community impact of the Port Colborne charity.
“The work you do for the community made it an easy choice for me to write about for this project,” says Payne. “My paper looked at the poverty in the community and how your organization helps in so many ways for those in-need.”
Each year, YPI Canada grants hundreds of thousands of dollars to community-based social service charities, 100% decided by thousands of high school students in our school-based youth philanthropy project.
Students learn about social issues impacting their community, choose a charity that addresses one issue to research and visit, and then share what they learned with their peers through a classroom presentation. The top presentations from the year advance to the school’s YPI Final, where a panel of judges selects one team to win a $5,000 grant for the charity they represented.
“Receiving such a generous donation from a youth in our community is just heartwarming,” says Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director of Port Cares. “We want to sincerely thank Kyla for thinking of Port Cares whose thoughtfulness will help thousands of people who need our help with hot and nutritious meals. I’d also like to thank Lakeshore Catholic High School and teacher Tish Badawey who collectively have been a great support to our organization through this program and other efforts.”
“I thought Kyla’s project demonstrated a mature and excellent level of student-led research and advocacy,” says Tish Badawey, teacher at Lakeshore. “She clearly communicated her own sense of engagement and interest in her community regarding the social issue of poverty and displayed compassion and respect for all that Port Cares does for Port Colborne residents.”
Judges for the project included students and community leaders from Niagara. Judging criteria was based on whether the project included clear information about the social issue, how the issue impacts people in the community in the short- and long-term, as well as information about the charity’s programs and services.
Kyla’s donation will go directly towards the food bank and meal program that operate out of Port Cares’ Reach Out Centre. Donations these days are crucial, as Port Cares has seen an increase of 34 percent in people needing food bank support since the pandemic began and the numbers for their meal program have doubled.
Payne says she’s interested in getting a full tour of the Reach Out Centre once it’s back open to volunteers and would enjoy learning more behind-the-scenes and helping with meal preparation one day.
Throughout the pandemic, Port Cares has had to continually pivot in the way they offer their services, while managing a significant increase in demand for said services. For the past couple of months their hot meal program shifted to once a week; registered clients could come on Monday to receive one hot meal and two frozen meals for the week. It’s anticipated that it will shift back to three days a week in July once restrictions are lifted again.
Since 1986, Port Cares has offered a multitude of services for people, young and old, not only in Port Colborne, but also across Niagara including Lincoln, West Lincoln, Welland, Pelham and Fort Erie. They offer housing, employment training, a foodbank, Niagara Youth Justice services, EarlyON Child and Family Centres, a meal program, utility assistance, counselling and crisis services- as well as seasonal programs like Coats for Kids, Give a Gift and more. Our services are wide-ranging - the need is undeniable.
IN PHOTO: Left to right – Christine Clark Lafleur, Port Cares Executive Director; Kyla Payne; Sarah Eller, Manager – Client Services & Reach Out Centre; Amanda Fuller, Reach Out Centre Site Supervisor