Engagement: Beau Valley PS Students Raise $500 for Wildlife Rescue Facility

Posted On Monday July 13, 2020
soper button
Beau Valley PS student Yiannoula designed a button for Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue owner Stefanie MacEwan.

Grade 7/8 students raised money to support Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue

Since last December, Heidi Mercer’s Grade 7/8 class at Beau Valley Public School in Oshawa has been working on a campaign to benefit Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue in Bowmanville.

Every year, Mercer’s class chooses an organization to be the recipient of their charitable efforts. Last year students collected enough items to create 76 care packages for Cornerstone Community Association, an organization that helps men, women, and families in Durham move from homelessness to independent living.

“This year we thought we would commit our efforts to animals in need. I had previously seen Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue’s displays and demonstrations during town parades and festivals in downtown Bowmanville and thought they would be a great organization for our campaign,” explains Mercer.

The student-led fundraising campaign was organized in three phases. In each phase students chose tasks for themselves and were the main organizers, while Mercer assisted.

Phase One

For their first fundraiser in December, the students organized the sale of candy cane-grams. Each candy cane-gram was 50 cents and included a positive message for its recipient.

Phase Two

Throughout February and March, students organized the sale of buttons within the school. Mercer details how they accomplished it, “We booked the Board's button making machine. Our students were able to design their own button and then we used the machine to make them look professional.” Buttons were $1 each, and every button showcased a unique design hand-drawn by students.

In this phase, a student named Yiannoula also created a singular button designed for Stefanie MacEwan, owner of Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue. This button says “Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue!” in colourful block letters, and next to the words is a custom illustration of a red fox.

Phase Three

The final phase of the campaign was originally scheduled to take place after March Break, but due to the province-wide school closures, the students were unable to roll this phase out.

“Phase three was going to be a big collection of all the needed items from the Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue wish list,” explains Mercer.

The wish list includes a range of items from gift cards to cleaning supplies, medical supplies, and animal care supplies. Students would have written letters to local grocery stores to ask for donations of grocery gift cards that they could pass along to MacEwan.

Stefanie MacEwan was also supposed to visit Beau Valley PS to receive the donations and the button, while educating the class on what they do at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue and how they would use the funds. Unfortunately, with the school closed that wasn’t possible. Mercer says she is looking into mailing the button to MacEwan or, better yet, delivering it herself and finally making the face-to-face connection.

Finding a Way

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue does not receive money from the government and relies on revenue generated through educational programming and community events. With the COVID-19 community restrictions, the organization was forced to close for a few months and therefore was unable to create revenue or take in any new sick or injured wildlife.

When Mercer and her students heard about this, they knew they could help by donating the money they had raised so far from the fundraisers in phases one and two.

“I was able to share the great news of the class donation made in May. Our Principal John McLeod took a picture of the donation receipt and I posted it on our Google Classroom so the students could all see it and celebrate their efforts, knowing that they made a difference,” expresses Mercer.

MacEwan says the donated money will go directly towards treating the sick, injured, and orphaned animals that came into their care last season, “From all of us here at Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue we want to thank Heidi Mercer and her students for helping the animals that aren’t able to help themselves. So many times, people forget that the animals we see in our own backyards are important. They effect the way we are able to live as a community. So, thank you Beau Valley PS for realizing they are important too.”

Soper Creek Wildlife Rescue is once again taking in sick or injured animals and is open for summer single-day programs, check out their website for more information https://sopercreekwildlife.com/.