St. Thomas Aquinas High School students handed out $2,200 in grants this week as part at the Youth in Philanthropy Granting Ceremony.
"It's an amazing experience [when you donate the money] to see how thankful they are because of the work they do in the community, it's amazing. They're so thankful for it," said Grade 12 student Rayleh Hanson-Munn.
The granting ceremony brought together students from both STAHS and Beaver Brae to present their cheques to the organizations they had chosen. In total seven grants for $550 were handed out with St. Thomas Aquinas choosing the Kenora Sexual Assault Centre, the Kenora Fellowship Centre, Habitat for Humanity, and the Alzheimer Society. Beaver Brae awarded grants to the Lake of the Woods Hospital District Foundation, the Women's Shelter - Saakaate House and the Kenora Public Library.
Hanson-Munn explained what she learned from the experience.
"It's opened doors for me to learn about community organizations and the struggles that happen in the community. I didn't realize the extent of different struggles people have in Kenora and it has opened my eyes to what people go through," she said.
Each year the YIP program chooses a large variety of community organizations they think should receive grants. From there the students do site visits to learn about the work they do in the community. Each organization is then judged based on a set of criteria that changes year to year. In the end four organizations are chosen to receive the grants.
The YIP program is in partnership with the Kenora and Lake of the Woods Regional Community Foundation and the St. Thomas Aquinas chapter is sponsored by Copperfin Credit Union.