Charitable Events & Fundraisers
“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.” Coretta Scott King
THE POWER OF compassion The heartbeat of our community
Teaching compassion to children is a truly remarkable and inspiring journey. By instilling this beautiful virtue in young hearts, we have the power to create a future filled with empathy, kindness and love. At Renaissance Academy of Learning, we believe that children learn by observing the behaviour of the adult role models in their lives. Show them what it means to lend a helping hand, to offer a comforting word and to truly listen with an open heart. In our own actions and interactions, let empathy be our guiding light.
Acts of kindness, no matter how small, hold immeasurable power. Let’s inspire our children to be ambassadors for their community.
100% of all proceeds raised at our school fundraisers go towards supporting charities & community initiatives.
Current Community Initiatives:
Past Community Initiatives
Jeremy’s Memorial PJ Project
Jennifer Menendez was a young Early Childhood Educator who worked at our school. She and her family founded Jeremy’s Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence in memory of her little nephew. Jennifer was actively involved in the foundation and even developed a workbook, which is now used throughout British Columbia with children who have had to flee from domestic violence.
On a bright sunny December morning in 2005, Jennifer was driving to work when her car hit a patch of black ice on No. 6 Road. She lost control of her vehicle and was killed.
This was a tragic and emotionally devastating event for Jennifer’s family, her colleagues and all of the families whose children were in her care at our centre. Ever since, we have worked to keep Jennifer’s memory alive through various initiatives. Like the PJ Project, our long-standing annual holiday fundraising initiative to support of Jeremy’s Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence by collecting pajamas and basic necessities for women and children fleeing from domestic violence.
To this date, we have donated $11,506 and 1572 pajamas to Jeremy’s Memorial Foundation Against Domestic Violence.
Boundaries Addiction Group
Addictions don’t just destroy lives: they can destroy families too. Boundaries Family and Friends Support Group provides a safe and inclusive space for individuals who share similar challenges to meet as a group each week and find comfort, support, and guidance from one another.
We’ve opened up our space, free of charge to this group to meet on a weekly basis. Facilitated by an experienced clinical counsellor, Boundaries provides a non-judgmental forum for individuals, family members, and friends of addicted loved ones to address substance abuse and the deep and lasting impact it is having on their lives, all within a safe and supportive atmosphere.
Spark: Week of Giving
Spark, our Before and After school care program incorporates baking as one of the activities for the kids. Running year long, an innovative idea of the program is that the kids sell their baked goods and the funds collected will be donated to the charities of their choice.
Each June, students from each class take their bake sale proceeds and personally deliver it to their selected charities. This allows our students to witness where the funds are going towards and who they are able to help because of their action. Teaching children to care about their community at a young age will help them grow into compassionate individuals of the future generation. Charities that we have helped:
RAPS: Regional Animal Protection Society, Richmond SPCA, Richmond Food Bank, Adopt Korean Rescue: the Jindo Project and Steveston Community Cupboard.
Jindo Dogs Animal Rescue
Our Head of School, Linda Shirley met her new family member, Beckett, through Adopt Korean Rescue who rescued him from a high kill-shelter. Beckett’s incredible journey to Canada was made possible by the phenomenal work of Adopt Korean Rescue.
Adopt Korean Rescue is a volunteer-based federally registered not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping homeless and unwanted dogs in South Korea to find new homes in Canada.
By encouraging children to show empathy towards animals and the people involved in the cause, this will naturally progress into empathy towards greater society. This project discusses how animals feel when they do not have homes and how their actions can help improve the lives of these animals. Our students help sell various merchandise like flowers, candy and baked good to raise funds for Adopt Korean Rescue.
Building Dreams Brick by Brick: Sri Lanka
Our philosophy around teaching young children is that they role model what they see from the adults in their lives. So as part of our school vision, we believe that actions speak louder than words and that to raise empathetic and caring future adults, children need to be involved with projects that give back to the community.
The Richmond Firefighters Association along with our friends Amar and Anoma, inspired us to help build homes for destitute families in Sri Lanka, so we fundraised with the goal to build and furnish a house for one family and renovate and furnish the other. We also raised extra funds to buy school supplies for the local elementary school.
The lives of the Annecchini family was forever altered when Tonya’s 5 year old son Chase, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer. Our accounting director, Adena Ovens, is friend and neighbour to the Annecchini’s and wanted to help in any way possible. The financial strain on the family was tremendous for they lived in Vernon and had to constantly travel to Vancouver for treatments.
Our school rallied to raise funds, allowing the family to momentarily focus their energy on Chase and his battle against cancer.
Fraser Valley Animal Rescue
In 2021, when heavy rainfall flooded the Sumas Prairie flood zone in Abbottsford, the news was abuzz with farmers needing help to save their animals. Animals that were rescued, needed food and shelter that was not available to them. Our school immediately took action by raising funds through bake sales and giving the farmers much needed emergency relief.
The passion for community work was so inspiring that our staff took cookies home to sell outside of their house where their neighbourhood was famed for Christmas light displays, attracting many spectators. They even made it into the newspaper!
Syrian Refugee Welcome
Linda wanted to give the Syrian refugee families who were staying at a hotel near the school, a day of normalcy. Understanding that these families were facing uncertainty and financial strain, she gave them a temporary sanctuary where children and parents were able to enjoy the day like any other normal family. As a teacher herself, she imagined that parents were struggling to find engaging activities for children. Our school welcomed the Syrian families to a day of art and food.
Click the Learn More button to read the CBC news article about this event.
Empower Her: Action Against Domestic Violence
As a woman led and women powered company, the work environment is very sensitive and understanding of the complicated needs of women. When one of our own started experiencing violence at home, the staff immediately found her housing, furnished her home and raised money so that she would have emergency funds.
With the support of the whole staff, our coworker was able to find the courage to leave her horrible situation at home, taking her young children with her to begin a new life.
9/11: Teddy Bear Collection
The horrible events of 9/11 devastated so many families and the whole world watched as the horrors continued to unfold. As a school, we wanted to show other children that we stood with them and that they were not alone. Our Head of School, Linda reached out to the New York School Board and was given permission to ship a collection of teddy bears to the children who were affected by this tragedy. We were hoping in their dark times, that the teddy bear would give them a small measure of comfort.
Haiti Earthquake: Art Sale
When Haiti was struck with a massive earthquake in 2010, The Arts Connection sought to provide immediate relief for the citizens. The students made art work that was sold to the general public. They raised a great sum to send to Haiti, helping Haitians to begin the road to recovery from this natural disaster.