THE Halton Children’s Aid Society (HCAS) has been a part of my life as this was one of the first organizations that I ever started volunteering with. Therefore, I cannot wait till the five days after Valentine’s as it will be the HCAS’S 100th anniversary. On February 19, it will be a special day for the Children’s Aid in the Halton region. HCAS will have an anniversary launch event in the honour of working hard to make a positive difference for many children / youth as well as helping children, youth, and families thrive in life. I believe that this is an important day and to look back at an organization has been helping the Halton Region for a number of years now.
At the age of 12 I first started to get involved with the local children’s aid as it was a great opportunity for me to support disadvantaged children in need. It was a great way for me to realize how lucky I was to have such supportive and caring parents that were always there for me and would always willingly listen to my problems from time to time, too. I also felt that in a way I was also assisting the community around me because of the amount of volunteering that I had put into this organization. Ever since I have gotten involved with the Halton Children’s Aid Society, it has been an amazing way to start my volunteering journey.
When I started volunteering with Halton Children’s Aid Society, it was because of something that I heard at school and how my parents influenced my decision. It all started when I was at school learning about children’s rights in Social Studies class in Grade 5. At lunch, my friend started telling me how he hadn’t gotten what he had wished for on his birthday. He told me that he had wished for Call of Duty: Black Ops but he didn’t get it because the game is rated mature. Instead, he got a series of books to read which he thought was a complete joke for a gift. Then he mentioned that he was going to call the local Children’s Aid Society to let them know what happened. I didn’t give an opinion to him about this situation as I wanted to see how it would unfold, but it was quite interesting and funny at the time.
Once I arrived home from school, my parents asked me how my day was as usual. As I was answering, they noticed that I seemed to be laughing a lot and they inquired what was so funny. I then told them about what really happened at school which was the whole HCAS call that my friend was about to make. My parents then told me that it wasn’t something to laugh about as if my friend made the call, then his parents would have to answer on his behalf. So, my parent then called my friend’s parents to let them know what happened. I felt bad after but I guess it was the best for the both of us for sharing the story.
The moral to take from this story is that kids think that the Children’s Aid Society can be used as a weapon against their parents to threaten them and it’s NOT. However, on the other hand, parents believe that the Children’s Aid Society can take their children away from them, but they DON’T unless it is an abusive environment for the child.
So, I decided that maybe if I look into this organization and start volunteering with them I would learn a lot more about them and help my friends make better decisions as well. Therefore, I took the challenge and participated in their special events with my parents. Believe it or not, it was a great learning curve and I felt blessed that I was helping and making a difference in someone’s life. Ever since then, I have been participating every year at HCAS in their events locally. These events being dragon boat racing, child abuse awareness presentations and the purple ribbon campaign.
Thank you for keeping children safe for 100 years – let’s cheer and celebrate the 100th Anniversary of HCAS – 1914 to 2014!
Have a happy centennial, Halton Children’s Aid Society!
If you would like to join in the celebration or find out more, please take a look at http://www.haltoncas.ca
BY HARNOOR GILL
Grade 10 student
Christ The King Catholic Secondary