At 12 years old, Colin Charlton has discovered that he has a passion for helping others.
The Grade 7 student at Vernon Community School has started a project he calls Santa’s Workshop, which is raising funds for students in his class who wouldn’t otherwise be able to buy Christmas gifts for their parents.
“At my school we have Passion Time, where you work on a passion, but my passion is scootering at the skate park and that’s not something I could do at school, so Kim (Ondrik, VCS teacher) suggested this project.
“Passion Time is just to work on left-over work and that stuff. But if you’re bringing up a new idea like Santa’s Workshop you have to announce it to the class, so I started working on it and started thinking of ideas.”
The idea is to raise money so that kids in his class who are short on funds can purchase Christmas gifts for their parents this year.
“All the money raised will go to all the people in my class that don’t have enough money for presents,” said Colin, who is in his first year at VCS, following in his older brother’s footsteps. He also has an older sister at Vernon secondary school. “I’m going to get them to write down what they wish they could get their parents for Christmas, and we will buy some of the presents that they have wished for, wrap them and give them to the kids to put under their Christmas tree.
“Any money left over will go to a local charity.”
Colin has already started fundraising, beginning with parishioners at Knox Presbyterian Church in Vernon, where his mom, the Rev. Teresa Charlton, is minister.
“My goal was $500 but I have already passed that, through donations at church,” he said.
As well, Colin has set up a Go Fund Me page where anyone can go and make an online donation.
“My teacher also brought up the idea of a bake sale and I might have a raffle as well.”
In his first year at VCS, Colin is enjoying his new school and said he feels as though he has more responsibility.
“And I’m really enjoying my Santa’s Workshop project and I think I’ve learned how to work with the community more,” he said.