Day 2: Southwood silent auction supports student well-being

For many, the holiday season can feel very different – it can be a time of joy or a time of sorrow – but it is the caring and compassion of others that can make a big difference in someone’s life during this time of year.

After going through some personal hardships and leaning on family and friends for support, a Southwood Secondary School teacher wanted to pay it forward and give back to her community, and the people she wanted to help most were the students she taught and worked with each day. After speaking with her principal, the idea to hold a staff silent auction became a reality and her co-workers rallied behind her.

For the past 12 years, and for one day in December, the staff room fills with generous silent auction donations from local businesses with every dollar raised going back to Southwood students who need a little extra support during the holiday season, financially, physically, or emotionally.

“Our students need to know that if they are going through something, we are here for them – they aren’t alone. We do this every year to make sure our students are loved and supported,” says Joanne Martin, Southwood SS teacher and event chair.

The organizing committee is excited to share that they surpassed last year’s staff donation total of $3,500 to a whopping $4,625, with more donations rolling in. Once the final fundraising total is counted, Joanne and her committee purchase gift cards for local grocery stores or the Cambridge Mall and issue them to identified students before the winter break.

Joanne Martin and the organizing committee pose with a room full of gift baskets for the silent auction.

Southwood Secondary School staff browse the silent auction items.


We are counting down 12 days of giving where we feature some of the wonderful acts of kindness our staff and students are modelling during the holiday season.

You can check out all of the great acts of giving in our schools (there’s more than just 12) by following us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

#WRDSBGives