Villanova Blessing Bags Help Local Youth

Villanova Catholic Studies students stand with their ‘Blessing Bags’ which were donated to Maryvale Treatment Facility.

Students at St. Thomas of Villanova Catholic High School put together 85 ‘Blessing bags’ to be donated to Maryvale Adolescent and Family Services.

The bags were each filled with personal hygiene items and gift cards to McDonald’s or Tim Hortons as an initiative to give back to the community. Maryvale was chosen as the recipient because it is a treatment facility that assists young people around the same age as the students at Villanova.

Villanova Principal Laura Beltran said she is very proud of Villanova students for stepping up and helping out with a local cause.

“At Villanova, we take social justice initiatives very seriously because we understand the value of doing our part to help others,” said Beltran. “We are truly blessed and we owe a responsibility to those who can use a helping hand.  The kindness and compassion shown by our students are an example for the greater community.”

Afterschool Maryvale Program worker Marcia Pelle said the items in the bags, such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, brushes, journals, pencils, pens, and socks were all very needed.

“The added gift cards, granola bars, and candy treats will be shared with so many kids and will be just something for them to enjoy while they are with us,” said Pelle.

According to, Maryvale is a Children’s Mental Health treatment centre in Windsor where adolescents experiencing very serious emotional, psychological and mental distress can receive therapy and assistance from a team of experts. The centre helps youth between the ages of 13 and 17 and their families – during the day for school, as well as after school.

“When I think about what these students have done, I am reminded of that expression, ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’  This is really exciting when the village includes youth the same age as the youth we serve here at Maryvale standing up to help their peers,” said Maryvale Executive Director Jenny Letink. “Partnerships like this are such important lessons for all youth … The work they have done serves as a positive way to help reduce the stigma associated with seeking Mental Health services.”

Maryvale is a facility that operates free of cost to children in need of their services.

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