The Compassion Project
“If you hold back on the emotions--if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--you can never get to being detached, you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely.”
-Tuesdays with Morrie
The Compassion Project
The compassion project is an opportunity for students to share their passion and/or show care for the people in their community, world, and/or life. We live really fast paced lives and don’t always get the chance to reflect upon how others might be feeling. I hope that during our student's time in leadership, that they will come to know the importance of compassion and humility (and act accordingly). That there’s always something to learn, always differing perspectives, and always a human element to any story/issue.
-To provide a meaningful experience for someone other than ourselves
-To step out of our comfort zone and do a project that goes beyond just school
-To empower ourselves to make a change
Check out all the projects that students came up with, planned, and led!
For our compassion project, we held a “Power Flower” workshop that brought together students in our school to fold origami flowers with a simple and kind message like “you are a rockstar!” written on the inside. With help from participants, we were able to create a big bouquet of flowers, which was then delivered to the Windermere’s Best Buddies’ club as a surprise. Flowers were individually passed out to the students in the life skills class who were ecstatic to open up the paper flowers. Windermere’s life skills class is a wonderful group of students that my partner and I feel like we often overlook, and this was an opportunity for us to build new relationships. Through our project, we hope that students in our school will understand how simple actions can have a powerful impact on creating a more positive environment in the school.
Better ToFeather is a project that entails teaching members in our community to make bird feeders and birdhouses out of recycled materials. We hope that our project will inspire participants to think more selflessly, and will begin to feel more connected to the wildlife around the city seeing that they put something they created into the world that will make a difference for the different birds that are in need of food and shelter from the recent weather. Our project contributes to the community by bringing its members together to create helpful new homes and feeders out of recyclable materials that would otherwise go to waste. Our project will also hopefully remind people that we need to pitch in and make sure that the endangered species of birds are preserved. Our goal is to inspire not only youth, but all members of our community to take action and help make a difference for some of our local wildlife in our neighbourhoods.
Community Quilt Project
With the help of Windermere's community, we are creating a quilt knit by students to spread awareness of the complexity of homelessness in Vancouver. The quilt is meant to represent our community and the diversity within, and will be displayed in the school before being donated to Lookout Housing & Health Society. Over the course of about three weeks, we held lunchtime workshops in order to spread awareness about the complexities of Vancouver's current homelessness crisis as well as teach participants how to do basic knitting stitches. Our main goal was to create a place where people of all different ages could come together and share their diversity through knitting. We hoped to have at least 15 participants at every workshop but we were overjoyed to see more than 30 students come and participate in our workshop. We were able to create quite a larger quilt with the help of our participants and I believe that the quilt really shows the schools diversity.
Community Iron CHef
Our project is a community pizza making workshop on reconnecting with food, food security, and that delicious food can be made with accessible ingredients. Our end goal is to express our passion with others, teaching people that community cooking could be something that enhances relationships and engages different people from different communities to come together and enjoy some good food.
This project is a great opportunity for children in our community to grow a stronger connection with the natural world around them, while at the same time showing compassion and gratitude towards someone in their lives. We hope this project will spark a love of arts and crafts, while also teaching the value of giving back to someone in your life that you feel strongly towards. To top it all off, the kids will walk away with a beautiful and unique Valentine’s Day card. This project also contributes to the community, by taking all the moss that clutters the streets and alleys, and breathing a new and creative life into them. You usually wouldn’t think of moss as being an important part of our community, but even it can be turned into a beautiful and unique art piece.
For our compassion project, we are planning on improving our neighbourhood by increasing the safety of our community. We will accomplish this by requesting the creation a new crosswalk at the corner of 29th, Manor Street and Windermere Street. This process could take up to two years, but the outcome will be worth the wait. Many students come through the neighbourhood on their way to school, and have to jaywalk across the busy street, which frustrates the fast drivers, and is dangerous to the students walking across. Adding a crosswalk to this street, will be a safe and accessible way to improve your daily life.