Started in 2003, the annual Loonie Line is a grassroots fundraiser created to assist students facing financial difficulties. Over the last 18 years, the John Abbott College community has raised $220,770.
The Loonie Line typically brings together people on campus in various initiatives and activities with the common goal of creating awareness regarding the importance of helping others, being compassionate and being generous if not in money, then in time.
In a regular school year, loonies are stuck to two-sided tape that runs the length of College hallways on the main floor – almost 213 m (700 ft)! This year, like the 2020 edition, the Loonie Line is online and open to all friends of the College, on campus or across the country.
100% of the money raised will go to the JAC Student Assistance Fund to help students in need of financial assistance. New this year, we are creating a JAC Wellness Bank where sharing the importance of self-care, self-compassion, and additional means of help and support are the raison d’être.
How is the Student Assistance Fund spent? Groceries and related expenses, transportation, school fees, books, rent and so much more.
Note from a JAC student, January 2021:
I wanted to write you all a little note to tell you how thankful, and grateful I am for your kindness, thoughtfulness and generosity… your help has certainly lifted the spirits at our home. I know I am feeling lighter and will sleep easier… I want you to know that … all that you have given us throughout the school year is truly appreciated and I am extremely proud to be a part of the John Abbott family.
I look forward to graduation now that I have completed my last course at Abbott, but what I really look forward to, is one day soon, being able to give back, and be a source of help and comfort to those who need a hand, as John Abbott College Foundation has done for me.
Meaghan Blake, Counsellor at John Abbott, shares the importance of the Wellness Bank, the focus of the 2021 Loonie Line:
There is no question that students’ mental health has been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulting lockdown measures. Almost 50% of students who have consulted our service in the last 6 months have reported feeling depressed and anxious. We have to remember that for some, confinement does not simply mean more time at home with family. For some, it means fewer opportunities to escape an unhealthy environment and to access support from peers. Difficulties with family (40%) as well feelings of suicide (25%) are just some of the significant challenges faced by students in our service, not to mention the loneliness brought on by months of restrictions. The importance of self-care, self-compassion, and the knowledge that help and support continue to be available, are key to getting through this difficult time.