Upper Canada College’s Prep Parents’ Organization (PPO) collected enough books, clothing, sports equipment and games during its service drive for its Horizons program earlier this month to fill three large cars.
Sprucecourt Public School, one of the many Horizons partner schools, benefitted from the drive. It’s part of a community service initiative started in 1999 that connects UCC with several publicly funded inner-city schools, and it was chosen by Horizons director Jyoti Sehgal.
“When Jyoti is in touch with the school, she inquires about the items that are most needed by the children and families,” says PPO community service team member Anu Bhalla. “They identified books and gently used sports balls and books, so these items along with clothing will be taken to Sprucecourt.”
Outdoor equipment (including sleeping bags, rain gear, rain boots and hiking boots) that was collected will be taken to UCC’s Norval Outdoor School so Prep students can use it while they’re there.
“The trips to Norval require a lot of gear that families may not have at their disposal, so when they arrive at Norval we hope to have gear that can be used for their visits on a sign-out basis,” says Bhalla.
Other sports equipment will be left at UCC for boys to use as required for gym classes and team tryouts.
These initiatives are part of the PPO’s year-round Blues Closet program, which Bhalla says was created in March “so that if boys do not have the gear that they need, they do not have to purchase new equipment for a short period of time.
“So from soccer cleats, hockey helmets and skates, shin pads to basketball shoes, the idea is that boys will be able to sign the equipment out and return it in good shape based on their needs.”
Prep and Upper School parents can continue to donate gently used items to the Blues Closet, which is located in the William P. Wilder ’40 Arena & Sports Complex.