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GNS Round Square Supports Local Charities Through Vital Youth Program

Round Square
GNS students who presented at Vital Youth event
Earlier this month, the Senior Round Square partnered up with the Middle School Round Square to organize a bake sale in support of the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society (ACEH) which is a non-profit organization that aims to help Indigenous people experiencing homelessness.

Round Square is also further supporting ACEH, as well as RAVEN, through a program called Vital Youth, a philanthropic initiative run by the Victoria Foundation to raise awareness about local issues impacting our community and the charities that work in those areas. This year marks the first time that GNS has participated in this program.

GNS was allocated $3000 to distribute to their chosen charities. After doing some research, the Round Square committee decided to give $2000 to ACEH and $1000 to RAVEN. To determine the charities, the Vital Youth liaisons of each school attended meetings with other committees to discuss whether or not the proposed charities met the criteria.

“One thing that I took away from this experience was how to initiate trust-based philanthropic relationships,” said Katharine Morley ’25 who was one of the GNS liaisons. “In a meeting with the Victoria Foundation, I learned about this charity method which acknowledges and works to change power imbalances and decision-making inequities. We worked on incorporating this concept when interviewing and corresponding with organizations. We were also able to establish relationships with some of the charities that we connected with, and GNS continues to support them with other school fundraisers!”

Louisa Eder ’23 who is also a GNS liaison said, “It was very rewarding taking part in this opportunity. I was able to build new connections with charities in Victoria, and have definitely become more aware of the many initiatives taking place here. Being a member of a committee composed of multiple grades also introduced me to new members of the GNS community, and as a liaison, I was able to attend a Vital Youth meeting earlier this year, where I met members from other schools. As well, during my meeting with the ACEH, Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, I learned how significant the contributions of Vital Youth are to the organizations we support, and the direct impact every donation can have.”

Louisa added, “I would definitely recommend this experience. It was a great way to become further involved in the community, learn about local charitable works, and connect with peers interested in similar initiatives. I’m glad GNS has become a member of this program, and that we continue to support the charities selected through other fundraising initiatives. I would definitely do it again.”

Katharine also agreed that she would recommend this experience and do it again. “Though there were some challenging points along the way, the Vital Youth Experience was all worth it in the end,” she concluded. “Being able to contribute to causes that I am passionate about and make a real impact in my community was incredibly fulfilling. It was a very rewarding experience, as well as a great way to meet and be inspired by philanthropic workers right here in Victoria.”