The girls at the Joan of Arc Academy in Ottawa have given up their party to sponsor a room for a homeless girl at Ottawa’s Young Women’s Emergency Shelter.
“What made me tear up is having the girls give up something they’ve been watching for ten years,” says their teacher Connie Springfield.
Every year students at the Academy come together to do charitable work. Their grade eight runs a Girls 4 Girls club that contributes to charitable projects for young women around the city.
This year Molly’s class has been working hard to raise $3,500 to give a homeless girl at the young women’s shelter a room to live in for a year.
“The girls decide how to do it, it’s their leadership thing, I just facilitate it,” said Springfield.
The 17 girls managed to raise $1,039 from bake sales—something extremely hard to do for such young girls, Springfield explained.
Meanwhile, the graduation celebration would have cost them around $2,000.
“Molly felt sick about how much they would spend on one evening in two hours,” said Springfield.
So within a couple of hours, Molly put together a presentation for her classmates with different options. At the end of it the decision was unanimous: The girls all agreed to have a simple graduation potluck and contribute the graduation money towards the room at the shelter.
“We have many nice things coming for us in the future and it would be nice to give something to the girls [at the shelter],” Molly said.
“We help [the shelter] in other ways, like Christmas stockings, but this has never happened. This is from them. They’ve given up their graduation celebration,” Springfield said.
The girls’ parents were quick to support their ideas. They told Springfield, “If these girls are our future adults––we’re okay.”
Dressed in a white jumpsuit, Minassian, 25, spoke only his name. He is charged with 10 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted murder.
Minassian’s LinkedIn profile lists him as a student at Seneca College from 2011 to this year.
Details emerged on Tuesday from the Department of National Defence that he was briefly a member of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) last year.
“He did not complete his recruit training and requested to be voluntarily released from the CAF after 16 days of recruit training,” said Jessica Lamirande, a spokeswoman with the Department of National Defence.
Minassian had attended Thornlea Secondary School in Richmond Hill, graduating in 2011, according to school officials, who declined to provide further details.
A Facebook post reportedly by Minassian shortly before the attack makes reference to the 2014 Isla Vista tragedy in California, where a gunman killed six people and injured several more before turning the gun on himself. In a video before the attack, the gunman said his reason was due to rejection by women;
Alexander Alexandrovitch, who says on his Facebook profile that he attended the same high school as Minassian, describes the suspect as “mentally unstable.”
“He was known to meow like a cat and try to bite people,” he wrote on Facebook.
The area surrounding Minassian’s family home in Richmond Hill, Ont., was closed off with police tape a day after the incident.
Neighbours said they didn’t know the family well and that they usually kept to themselves. The family is thought to comprise four people, with another young male besides Minassian living in the household.
“We have a very quiet community, and nobody really bothers anybody else very much,” Wes Mack, a neighbour of the family, told The Epoch Times.
“It’s very tragic, very, very sad, and it’s hard on the community as well.”
Additional reporting by Becky Zhou; with files from The Canadian Press
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