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July 2014 – Gala Group is Simply Amazing

July was an amazing month for SchoolBOX, and 13 international volunteers from Canada.  The volunteer group was comprised of two committee members of the Amazing People Gala presented by CTV, and five lucky Ottawa Area youth, who received scholarships to participate in a volunteer experience in Nicaragua. Izabelle O’Connor, Noah Marchildon, Cecile Daigle, Brooke Sullivan, and Matthew Smart were the lucky recipients of the Amazing People Gala Youth Scholarships, and made the trek to Nicaragua to help build a school, and empower a community.

The group was all smiles, as they worked on the Marcos Lainez School, in a community outside of Leon.  The school was destroyed by an earthquake in April 2014, and SchoolBOX was quick to jump in to lend a helping hand.  With funds from the Amazing People Gala, and an amazing team in Nicaragua, SchoolBOX was able to start construction on the new school almost immediately.

The volunteer experience was special to Amazing People Gala co-founder Eric Collard, as he has been involved with SchoolBOX over the last three years.  He got to see first hand the fruits of his labour, and directly contribute physically to a school his team helped fund.  He was able to help shovel dirt, pour cement and paint with his fellow volunteers, and immediately fell in love with Nicaragua.

Fellow Gala committee member, and SchoolBOX Finance Manager, Michelle Kay loved every second of the experience.  ”It is amazing to see first-hand the benefit to this small community in Nicaragua.  The Amazing People Gala was held in February of this year, and unfortunately an earthquake destroyed the Marcos Lainez School in April of this year.  Here we are in July, and we are putting the finishing touches on the school. It goes to show everyone the direct benefit of supporting events like the Amazing People Gala.”

The team of youth scholarship recipients left their heart in Nicaragua.  Through their 10 day long experience, they developed friendships with students, teachers, community members, and SchoolBOX employees that will last a lifetime.  The entire volunteer group actively encouraged the children to stay in school, and spoke to teachers, and parents about the importance of education.  The legacy of this ‘Amazing’ group of volunteers will endure for generations in the walls of the new Marcos Lainez School, and in the hearts and mind of the community.

Matthew Smart felt an extreme connection to the community of Marcos Lainez and SchoolBOX and was emotional when the volunteer experience was over.  “You spend 10 days with these people and they become your family. You say goodbye, but goodbye isn’t forever, family is forever”

For more information on the Amazing People Gala presented by CTV, please click here.
For more information on the Marcos Lainez School Project, please click here.

Eric Collard working hard on the Marcos Lainez School.  

SchoolBOX engineer, Francisco Garcia, working hard on painting the logo of the AP Gala on the Marcos Lainez School.

The entire Amazing People Gala volunteer group posing in front of the Marcos Lainez School