Students driven to help Haiti

John Howitt kids were inspired to help after participating in WE Day.

Students from John Howitt Elementary are organizing a test drive in the parking lot at John Howitt on May 7 to raise money for Haiti.

Students from John Howitt Elementary are organizing a test drive in the parking lot at John Howitt on May 7 to raise money for Haiti.

The students of John Howitt Elementary School’s Leadership Club are inviting the public to test drive new vehicles as a part of their ongoing fundraising efforts for community development in Haiti.

The club is this year’s recipient of Van Isle Ford’s annual Drive 4UR Community. With no pressure to buy, Ford will donate $20 to the leadership students for every test drive taken on Saturday, May 7 from the parking lot of John Howitt School.

As an additional fundraiser, students will be collecting non-perishable food items that day for the Bread of Life. Last year, John Howitt teacher Tannis Seredick formed the club and got a proactive group of 45 Grades 5 and 6 students involved in the organizations Me to WE and Free the Children.

The school was sent tickets for the students to attend WE Day in Vancouver,.

The concert-like field trip inspired them to see how they could help both global and local causes.

“There were celebrities like Barenaked Ladies and “The Fonz”, but they also got to see their own peers speak about how they brought their ideas to life and how we could do that. From there, it bloomed to what it is now.”

When they returned to the classroom, the students decided on an area in which they wanted to focus and chose Haiti.

“We learned about what it was like before and after the earthquake and what happens to people who don’t have access to clean water,” Seredick said. “The students voted overwhelmingly on Haiti because it is one of the poorest nations in the world.”

The goal is to donate $1,000 for humanitarian efforts in the country, which will be distributed to areas in need by Free the Children. So far, $430 has been raised and the Club members are hoping the Drive 4RU Community will put them over the top.

Throughout the year, the students have also done a couple of food drives for the Bread of Life and are hoping to be able to prepare and serve a meal to the guests before school ends.

The test drives take place from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on May 7. In the morning there will be coffee and donuts, followed by hotdogs in the afternoon.