Warm Winter Wishes raises over $44,000

MOUNT FOREST  – Wellington Heights Secondary School (WHSS)raised $44,089 for local families during its 17th Warm Winter Wishes campaign. 

In total, 110 children from 67 families and eight schools benefited from campaign donations of toys, clothing and gift cards. 

It is the largest total the non-profit program has ever raised. 

The program has operated since 2002 as part of the WHSS Grade 12 business class taught by Barb Cowen. 

“It was [Barb Cowen’s] last year of the program so it was really nice to end it off with a bang and to have raised the most amount of money that the project has raised,” said WHSS student Madalyn Ellis, who was in charge of external marketing for the program.  

According to Ellis that number continues to rise. 

The students used the $44,089 prior to the winter break on Dec. 21 to purchase toys and clothing for children. The day prior to the delivery they used extra money to add grocery and drug store cards for each family. 

After the Christmas break the class was still receiving some corporate donations, said Ellis. 

“That money will carry on over to next year,” she said. 

Without continued support from local businesses, Ellis said the class would not have broken its donation record. 

“There were tears of joy shed that we had helped that many children in the community,” said Ellis.

“Pretty much just knowing that those children were going to have a good Christmas was the only celebration that we needed really.” 

While Cowen retires at the end of this school year, it is hoped another business teacher at the school will take over Warm Winter Wishes. 

“I know it’s something the community really looks forward to supporting and a lot of the families in the community really need the support so I really hope that it does continue,” said Ellis.