Looking Back
By: Linda Goytan

VirtueStanding in the foyer, at San Lorenzo Ruiz Catholic Elementary School (SLR) in Mississauga, I enjoy looking around and thinking of all the wonderful memories. I smile as my eyes focus on a very special mirror on the wall. It questions all who look at it with “Can you see yourself in the virtues?” From the Blessings in a Backpack perspective, one can definitely say…yes!

All of the past and present team leaders and backpack donors should be proud of everything that has been achieved over the years. Together we succeeded! Thank you for your enthusiasm and determination to keep up with the tradition of collecting backpacks for Blessings. By thinking of others and giving generously, you have all shown your commitment to community service for the benefit of those in need. What a wonderful learning experience!

May the virtues of empathy, faith, courage, love, hope and the joy of success continue to empower and guide all of you with your future endeavours. May you always make a difference wherever life should lead you. Keep on trailblazing!

Memories Made to Last
By: Victoria G-C

SLRWhen I think back over the years, I count my blessings and am thankful for all the great memories. I am thrilled to have been given the opportunity to continue the tradition of collecting backpacks for the Blessings in a Backpack program. My involvement with Blessings began seven years ago when I donated some backpacks to the backpack collection drive that was then organized by Angela McLean at our school San Lorenzo Ruiz. I thought that this was a worthy cause to donate to and I continued to do so every year after that. Then, when it was time for Angela to graduate from Grade 8 she approached me to ask me if I would continue with the yearly collection drive at the school. I agreed and that was when Angela officially passed the baton of organizing over to me.

In the fall of 2011, just as I was starting Grade 5, I began organizing my first backpack donation drive at SLR. And, have continued to do so for the past four years. During this 2014-2015 school year, many announcements and posters were made for our 7th annual Blessings in a Backpack donation drive held from October 1st to October 24th, 2014. As a result, a total of 74 backpacks were donated and there were two lucky winners of movie gift cards. A great big thank you to this year’s Blessings Team Leaders: Juliane F., Caitlin F., Gabyrel C., Kyle P., Arjun L., Alex C., Joaquin P., Alyssa M., Michelle K., Joshua M., Vivian B., George C., Victoria V., Jerald G., Thea M., Kristine C., Andrew S., and Phillip W. Also, very special thanks to the present and past Principals, Vice-Principals, teachers, custodian, and office staff, as well as all the team leaders, backpack donors and contest winners.

Now, that my time at SLR has finished and I have graduated from Grade 8, I am very thankful that our Blessings team was able to keep up with the yearly tradition. Organizing the backpack donation drive and collecting the backpacks for Blessings in a Backpack really was a wonderful learning experience for which we were able to put our virtues into action. Thank you everyone for all the great memories. These memories were truly made to last!