December 2019

What a year it’s been!

This school year is our 10th Anniversary. It’s hard to believe that what started off as a modest project to help three high school students will soon reach $500,000 in financial support given to hard-working students living in difficult financial circumstances. This year alone, we are helping 130 students, at least two students in 60 Ottawa high schools.

To celebrate our 10th anniversary, the Board of Directors agreed to give each student a $100 anniversary bonus on December 10th.

As we become better known in the school systems, we are starting to receive urgent requests to help students living in dire circumstances. To date this year, we’ve added two students to the original goal of 128 students.

I am very fortunate to be able to meet so many wonderful young men and women. I hear stories about their circumstances that are heart-breaking but I am always impressed by their determination. The best part of the job: I get a lot of hugs.

Recently, I received this email from one of our recipients who has given me permission to share her story with you. She wanted to thank me for helping her and tell me her story:

“My story,
I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo, I am an orphan of father and mother since my young age, I keep very little memory of them. I have 3 brothers who are in Africa, the youngest is a teenager who lives without parents is what hurts me the most. On July 5, 2014, I arrived in Canada precisely in Quebec sponsored by my aunt. After two years, 2016, we made a trip to Congo. Arriving there she abandoned me and returned to Canada with all my documents. I managed all alone with many difficulties to return to Canada after a year 8 months. I had nothing but I had to tell people of good faith like you who paid me the ticket to return to Canada. Arriving in Canada I changed my city to live in Ottawa in a Congolese Christian community where I live.

I went back to school and I manage myself to survive. This year I will graduate, next year I want to do the legal program at La Cité Collegiale. I look forward to creating an NGO to help orphaned children, homeless children in Africa. You cannot imagine how your money will help me a lot, it's a miracle for me to receive your help, you are an angel whom God sent to help me.”

Traditionally, we publish an article in the Ottawa Citizen each December. It is our only public appeal for new donors. It’s an expensive thing to do but one of our Board members pays for it in order to ensure that 100% of donations go directly to the students. The Board pays all administrative costs. I am very happy to send you the link to the final draft of the article. It will appear in the Saturday, December 14 edition, in Section A. It may look a bit different in the newspaper but the content is the same. I hope you enjoy reading it.

Every recipient of a Help Our Students Program award is required to write a letter describing the impact of the award on their lives. You can read their letters on our web site,

If you are a regular donor, I cannot thank you enough. If you make an annual donation, please consider setting up a monthly donation. It’s an easy and painless way to support us throughout the year.

If you are not a donor, please consider becoming one. As I stated above, all of your donation will go directly to help a hard-working student living in difficult financial circumstances. If you wish, you can even direct your donation to a specific school as well as in memory or celebration of someone special.

To donate, go to If you are celebrating a holiday this month, I wish you great joy.    © RICHARD LUSSIER 2016