Teacher Gail Prattas and her husband Peter share a common birth year and strong passion for helping students in need. Their wish for their shared 40th birthday party was for family and friends to make donations in lieu of birthday gifts to help them celebrate the joy of giving. And celebrate they did, as generous friends delivered cash gifts totalling $2700 to be donated to the Toronto Foundation for Student Success.

Donation Gail learned about the extent of poverty in Toronto when two Sir John A Macdonald CI student leaders, Meera and Gerry, invited a guest speaker from the TFSS to talk about student hunger as part of the TDSB social justice action plan. Gail decided to give back to the students in her own backyard after listening to the speaker share her account of coming to school hungry every day. Excited about Gail’s donation, Assistant CL Tsahai Daley helped the students approach a sponsor to ask them to match the donation. Johnson Insurance happily agreed to make a surprise contribution to Gail’s birthday fund. The end result? A $4,800 donation being made to the Hope in Action Emergency Fund.