A documentary filmmaking project by grade 10 civic students has resulted in a $5,000 donation to help the homeless.
Teacher Lucas Madill assigned the project to all six of his civics classes, asking them to form groups and create a video showcasing a local charity they’d like to help.
“Watching these videos really gives you a sense of what the issues are,” says Mr. Madill, who had the onerous job of whittling down the 30 social-service productions submitted to just three finalists.
“The work they did was just incredible,” he said, noting that many did a fabulous job technically, editing with Microsoft Movie Maker or Adobe and capturing clear footage on their iPhone. In the end, however, films making the final cut were those that adhered to the project criteria of documenting a social service’s purpose and need while working as a cohesive team.
The judging took place this morning in Ketchum Auditorium by faculty, last year’s winning team, and Marco Mancini, a speaker-representative from the Youth Philanthropy Infinitive (YPI). YPI’s mandate is to strengthen community-based grassroots organizations and engage youth in social issues and local charities. It is sponsored by the Toskan Casale Foundation, founders of MAC Cosmetics.
While all three videos were emotionally charged, informed, and well produced, it was the documentary “Inn From The Cold” that most resonated with judges. The film addressed the issue of homelessness using news clips and general statistics, then zeroed in on the work done by the 32-bed shelter, Inn From The Cold.
“We chose it because it was different from other shelters,” says Allen Hu, on his group’s decision to highlight this charity. He was a co-producer with Chris Leung, Kevin Kuan, and Nicholas Badali. The Newmarket-based charity provides a bed to those 16 and over, but also offers food, clothing, and employment services to help rebuild lives. The students are thrilled a $5,000 cheque will be donated to cause that’s become close to their hearts.
“It’s often the big global organizations that get all the attention, but there is so much need in our own backyard,” explains Mr. Mancini, noting there is a waiting list of school’s wanting to join this initiative. “The issue of homelessness is huge, as it doesn’t take much for people to cross over the threshold through job loss or illness.”
Since its inception in 2002, YPI has helped students donate more than $6 million to charities in Canada, New York City, and the United Kingdom. YPI offers students a special experience that engages them in social change and empowers them to participate in growing compassionate communities. SAC became involved 14 years ago, and since then students have raised more than $45,000 for York Region charities.
Story by Cindy Veitch