By Kai Ellis
“I don’t really know what I’m doing,” admitted grade 12 Julian McCutcheon, as he sat in the lobby of St. Thomas’s Anglican Church. Next to Julian was a massive pile of veggies, and in the kitchen, four vats of soup were bubbling away–all of this was in preparation for the guests who arrived a little later in the night.
“Out of the Cold is a community service event where every Friday students from RSGC and other neighbouring schools get together and prepare food for over 100 people who live below or around the poverty line,” explains Nick Ramsubick, Community Service Prefect at RSGC. Most weeks the students simply prepare the food. Last Friday was an exception, as students from RSGC and Havergal prepared, served, and cleaned up all of the food.
After an hour and a half of preparation, the food had been cooked, and patrons began to arrive. Ian Mergelas served soup. “I’m a fan of community service,” said Ian. “You really see just how much of an effect you can have on the community.” Along with Ian, there were eight other students serving a variety of bread, vegetables, fruit, and drinks. Meanwhile in the kitchen, the remaining students were preparing a lasagna that was the main course–all in a night’s work.
“This Friday was organized so grade 12 students could get their remaining hours,” said Ms. Totten. Thirteen grade 12s from RSGC showed up to the four-hour Out of the Cold event, along with 10 girls from Havergal. With only 2 teachers and a representative of the church supervising, these 23 students prepared a feast, all the while making puns and talking about university applications.
“That was fantastic,” said grade 12 Philip Wright. “There’s nothing quite like hanging out with friends, and doing it for the community is a nice bonus.”
As the remaining food was served and the patrons started to leave, everyone gathered in the kitchen. Some people commenced with the dishes, while others dried, but most people just hung around the large table and chatted, waiting to be called in for a shift at the dishes.
After the dishes were done, everyone gathered around to celebrate the hard work and to wish Julian a happy birthday. “Tonight was a great success,” said Nick. “It was fantastic to see so many people show up.”
As we strolled towards the subway home, Julian said what was on everyone’s mind: “We should do this again sometime.”