The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board has long been a community leader in helping those in need. As followers of Christ, we are challenged to strengthen our communities by assisting those who are most vulnerable.
Although we are blessed to live in a rich province in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, many among us struggle financially. One in eight children and many people with disabilities are marginalized by poverty. Recognizing the inherent dignity of every human person, we are called by grace to respond in faith and love. The Catholic community has always been involved in service to the poor through Catholic agencies and organizations, through the actions of religious orders, and through the generosity of our parishes. "The Church's love for the poor . . . is a part of her constant tradition. This love is inspired by the Gospel of the Beatitudes, of the poverty of Jesus, and of his concern for the poor." i
In the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board, the social teachings of the Church are integrated into the curriculum and the broader life of the schools around a structure of service, education and action. Whether it is a food drive, a class discussion about poverty in our world, or participation in a public awareness action, Catholic schools have demonstrated consistent leadership in charity and justice. The caring and empathetic culture of our school communities is based on the teachings of the Catholic Church, and is manifested in the principles of equity, inclusiveness and respect. In solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world, our school communities work to bring hope to people in need, both in our schools and in the broader community. By supporting organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Holy Childhood Association, and the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, our staff and students answer the call to action. Through our collective efforts, we can and do help those in need.
The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic Education Foundation redirected its fundraising efforts in 2007 to address the topic of poverty in our schools. To date, dozens of families facing financial crises have been aided through the Foundation. Through the creation of an Emergency Response Fund, schools have access to funds to support children and families in crisis, providing assistance in the form of food and clothing, the provision of eyeglasses, Epipens, or medical supplies, and many other financial needs.
Our school system is committed to supporting children and their families living in economically disadvantaged circumstances. At the Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board "we accept the call to be imitators of Christ by embracing the Beatitudes through authentic witness at the school, community, and global levels. Rooted in our commitment to transmit our Faith and Catholic Tradition, we are inspired to build communities dedicated to the formation of young people who recognize their gifts and responsibilities to contribute to the transformation of the world into a more just and loving society for all." ii
Catechism of the Catholic Church #2444