BOX LUNCH AUCTION — Each year the staff and students at Holy Cross High School in Saskatoon organize a Box Lunch Auction. Each homeroom is invited to organize a meal to be auctioned off. Creativity is at its peak with regard to the menu, the location, the number of people to partake in the meal and sometimes even the method of dining. The top-dollar coveted meal is lunch in the staff room. It has become the tradition that the Grade 12 class goes to heroically generous heights to have the bragging rights of winning and eating that lunch. On auction day the entire school gathers in the gym, with students waving placards and cheering. An auctioneer is brought in and the bidding begins! As much as $42,000 has been raised in one auction.
Since 1967, Holy Cross High School in Saskatoon has been involved in educational and fundraising activities for Development and Peace. From the very beginning, the staff and students celebrated Share Lent by holding a “Poverty Week” during which they hosted speakers from developing countries, showed movies about D&P partners and held social justice prayer services.
Fundraising activities included dance-a-thons, cake auctions, box lunch auctions, international talent shows, bake sales and raffles.
One year during the famine in Ethiopia they collected a “barrel of rain” by rolling a barrel around to all 40 home rooms daily for about a month, inviting students to contribute loose change.
For several years activities extended beyond the school. One Lent, many students took part in a “candle drive” throughout the east side of the city, offering small candles to homes in the area with the request that these be placed in windows on Good Friday as prayers for peace. All of these activities were always planned, organized and carried out by a committee of students and staff.
The teacher-facilitators believed that the medium is also the message. That is, as they supported Development and Peace, they also supported the development of leadership skills among the students in a peaceful, co-operative way. Many years later, former students claimed that these D&P activities were some of their most meaningful educational experiences during their high school years.
More recently, Holy Cross students and staff have participated in ThinkFasts and a school-wide Box Lunch Auction where classes create themed lunches which are auctioned off to the highest bidders. These meals always sell for more than their actual value, thus developing a spirit of generosity or the idea of “giving more than we get.” This auction is about solidarity, awareness and education in keeping with the values of Development and Peace. However, the funds raised — over $300,000 in the past 17 years — have also gone a long way to supporting partners in the Global South.
Holy Cross High School and Development and Peace — 50 years of partnership and participation.