Grade 12 Orangeville class raising funds for Headwaters Health Care Centre

·2 min read

It was developed as a way to show their support for front-line workers.

A Grade 12 leadership class at Orangeville District Secondary School (ODSS) has started a fundraiser to honour health-care employees at Headwaters Health Care Centre.

“Our big idea is that connection is the catalyst of change,” said Corin Mercey, Grade 12 French and mathematics teacher at ODDS. “In our class, we focus on making connections with the community and ourselves into a purpose."

The class is trying to raise $5,000 by April 9. Donors are asked to nominate an employee, whether they are a nurse, physician, technician, receptionist or caretaker. The honoured recipient’s name will be placed on a white heart to acknowledge the impact the pandemic has had on health-care workers and community members.

“We wanted to focus on ... connection, especially in a year where we aren’t able to do a lot within the school because of the circumstances the kids are under,” said Mercey. “We focus on the big three ideas of connecting to the community, ourselves and into purpose, and we want to focus on making a change. Coming from a place of care, concern and kindness to others.”

The raised funds will go toward equipment and supplies, such as personal protective equipment, respirators, and hospital staff. Headwaters employs 158 physicians, 764 staff, 39 medical students, and has 453 volunteers.

“With it being the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, the kids thought it was appropriate to give back to the community in that way throughout in our health-care system,” said Mercey.

The hearts will be featured at the school, on their Instagram, Headwaters' social media, Headwaters' website, and then displayed in the hospital windows when the fundraiser is over.

“We talked about doing things out of the goodness of our hearts and think about others in the same situation,” said Mercey.

The fundraiser serves as a follow-up to the one they had for the Coldest Night of the Year hosted by the Orangeville Foodbank. The 19 member Care Bears, led by Mercey, raised $7,535, with a goal of $7,000.

“They said that human connection felt good for them to get that back, and people saw what they were doing,” said Mercey. “We talked about putting in the effort, dedicating and devoting time to initiatives and have people see that. They felt it was rewarding. They were surprised, and it kept motivating them even more.”

Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner