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Oct. 15, 2021 | Friday
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Crossroads Public School Me2We Club are champions of social justice
Me2We Club at Crossroads Public School (Brittany Carter/NiagaraNow)

Students and community members fighting for social justice were recognized at Crossroads Public School’s rising stars assembly on Feb. 27.

Acknowledging students of the Me2We Club, Michele Zoccoli, teacher, announced the success of three recent programs to raise money for various organizations and causes.

Zoccoli said the Me2We Club, which is made up of grade seven and eight students, has been pushing to collect donations and raise awareness for their efforts, on both a local and a global scale.

Pastor Jeff Martens of Cornerstone Community Church, spoke about the global initiative through the aide provided to Burundi, a small country in Africa south of Rowanda.

Martens said the church has been supporting the Batwah people of Burundi for more than 10 years and the partnership with Crossroads Public School began three years ago. With the help of the school and the Me2We Club, $2400 was raised over the Christmas drive, doubling the initial goal of $1200.

This year, the money was raised to provide solar lamps for the students of Karubi Harvest School. Martens said 385 students received solar lamps, allowing them to live productive lives, even when the sun sets. The Batwah people are among the poorest and unhappiest in the world with little to no electricity, Martens said. With support from Crossroads, he said he’s hoping to change that.

Last year, the money raised went to providing books for the Karubi Harvest School. With a surplus of funds this year, the remaining money raised was allocated to cost of books as well.

Addressing the students of Crossroads, Martens said, “There’s a lot of people (in Burundi) who need a lot of help. You’ve been a part of it.”

On a local scale, Zoccoli announced the work the club has done through a battery drive. Mary Jane Johnson, director of communications for Hotel Dieu Shaver Health and Rehabilitation Centre and the executive director for the Hotel Dieu Shaver Foundation was in attendance to talk about the money raised. She also thanked students for their contribution.

The battery drive collected 1270 batteries this year so far. Last year, 3840 were collected. Through that initiative, Crossroads along with other community members have raised $25,000 for the rehabilitation centre.

The last program the members of Me2We addressed this year was a pop tab drive.

The drive was initiated by grade seven student, Charlotte Broughton, when she was in grade five. After making the connection with Niagara Lion’s Club member Cathy Wickabrod during youth dances, Broughton said she wanted to help to collect tabs for the Ronald McDonald House.

Zoccoli said Broughton had a “strong passion for the pop tab campaign.”

“It’s thanks to Charlotte’s leadership and passion that we started this campaign,” Zoccoli said.

Through the campaign, 95,000 pop tabs were collected, weighing 100.5 lbs.

Wickabrod said that if not for the youth dances at the Lion’s Club and Broughton’s desire to do more, the partnership wouldn’t exist.

Wickabrod acknowledged Broughton and thanked the students. “We are extremely grateful for all of your hard work.”

The battery drive and pop tab campaigns are on-going. Students are encouraged to continue to bring them in throughout the year.