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Connecting with Your Community

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For her Grade 10 Personal Project, Alex Finn knew she wanted to do something to benefit her community. when she was younger, she and her family would donate gift cards to homeless people and shelters, and she decided she wanted to do so again but on a larger scale. To get ideas on how best to approach her project and start raising money, Alex got in touch with as many people as possible who might be able to offer ideas and assistance. That’s how she met Krista Loughton, the director of the documentary Us & Them, a film that uses a compassionate lens to raise awareness about issues of homelessness and addiction. Alex decided to host a screening of the documentary in the Denford Hall followed by a panel with experts from around Victoria, including the director, Krista, and representatives from the Mustard Seed and Our Place. The screening was well attended, drawing in lots of members of the GNS community as well as people from around Victoria. After the film, the panel discussed the best ways to help homeless people and shelters in your community. The director also talked about the hardest and best parts of shooting. In total, Alex has raised over $900 from the screening and the GoFundMe campaign she created. She plans to split the money, donating half to Our Place, the Mustard Seed, the Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society, and other community organizations. The other half she’ll convert into gift cards to give directly to those who need them. To anyone else considering making service the focus of their personal project, Alex’s biggest piece of advice is to reach out and use the resources around you. “Making contact is the best thing you can do,” says Alex; “Everyone wants to help.” Amazing work, Alex!