School bake sales raise much-needed funds for shelter

Cookies make world safer place for women


Recess is short, so students at Aqsarniit Middle School mob the table stocked with cookies and cupcakes.

For most of the student customers, it's just a chance to enjoy a chocolate goodie, but for the members of the school's Girl's Club it's a good cause.

This is he fourth and final bake sale of the year put on by the Girl's Club, made up of girls from Kathy Argue's Grade 6 class, and the money, a total of $500, is going to the Qimaavik women's shelter.

"Some of these girls have actually stayed there," Argue said.

Earlier this year, the girls toured the shelter, made notes of what food and supplies were needed, and gathered donations.

Argue said the club also serves as a forum for girls to talk about women's issues and build their self-esteem in a supportive environment. While the club is just for girls in her class, Argue said she hopes to open it up to other Grade 6 classes next year.

"Girls Club is a lot of fun and sometimes we talk about problems," said Catriona Popoff, 11. "I think it's good that we're helping people."

Meeka Ipeelie, 12, said "it feels pretty good" to raise money for the women's shelter.

"This is the funnest thing that ever happened because we're helping people," she said.

Napatchie McRae, the shelter's director, said this kind of small-scale fundraising is key to its survival. Strapped for cash last year, Qimaavik nearly closed, until the YWCA stepped in with money and expertise.

"I'm very proud of [the Girl's Club]," she said. "I hope this will open the eyes of the public that [the shelter] is starting to take its role in preventing family violence. You're never too young to start something."

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