Skip to comments.Grade eight student launches C.A.F.É. Day to support troops
Posted on 04/10/2006 9:43:52 PM PDT by Clive
PICKERING, Ontario ― March 21should be declared a national day for students to celebrate, appreciate, and thank members of the Canadian Forces for the daily commitment and sacrifice they make for our country.
The initiative to make this a reality is lead by Auriele Diotte, a 14-year-old grade eight student who is determined to make a difference.
"It should be called C.A.F.É. Day – Canadian Armed Forces Encouragement Day," stated the teenager.
The plan calls for grade eight students across the country, lead by Holy Redeemer Catholic School, to create scrapbooks that would then be sent to soldiers serving overseas. The scrapbook would contain letters written by the students, a message from each individual class, and a picture of the each class waving at the troops.
"In the time it takes to have a cup of coffee – "café" in French – we can write a letter to troops serving in the Canadian Forces and show our appreciation for the sacrifices that they are making to serve and protect our country", said Miss Diotte.
The Honourable Dan McTeague, Member of Parliament for Pickering-Scarborough East, supports the proposal.
Her idea was borne out of many sleepless nights. Having read a book about the Second World War and the Holocaust, thoughts of what had happened then were keeping her awake at night. Finally, after a deep discussion with her father, Michael Diotte, she decided to take something negative and turn it into something positive. The idea of C.A.F.É. Day took root and has ignited a wave of interest across the country.
Michael Diotte is proud of his daughter. "We encourage our children to have big ideas. If you dream it, and work hard enough, you can make it happen," said Mr. Diotte.
Once Auriele and her father had a plan, Michael Diotte wrote a letter to their local Member of Parliament (MP) for Pickering-Scarborough East, the Honourable Dan McTeague. The MP immediately commended them for their efforts and offered to put a link for their project on his Website. Within three days the Website was created by a friend of the Diotte family. There have been over 1, 000 hits on their newly formed Website.
Just as important to Auriele, she has started receiving e-mail messages from soldiers currently serving in Afghanistan.
"It is really good to hear support for what we are doing. We really appreciate it when we get some letters and emails from people like you who care," said Corporal Dan McLean, currently serving with the National Support Element in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Master Corporal Niall Anthony, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, shakes hands with a shopkeeper after recording answers presented from a questionnaire in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
The project already has the support of several organizations, including the Calgary-based Canadian Family Action Coalition and the Royal Canadian Legion. Letters have been written about C.A.F.É. Day to Defence Minister Gordon Connor, Governor General Michaëlle Jean, and Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
The Honourable Mr. McTeague hopes to present the proposition to Parliament in April, and at that time Auriele plans to send the letters to all troops serving abroad through the Department of National Defence.
Mr. McTeague said that Auriele should be commended for proposing "such a wonderful and heart-warming idea", and that he himself believes that, "we cannot do enough to support our troops."
The C.A.F.É. Day Website can be found at: http://www.cafeday.ca. For more information on the project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article by Karen Johnstone Photos by the Diotte family, Sergeant Frank Hudec, Master Corporal Robert Bottrill and courtesy of the Parliament of Canada
Good for that little girl. It's nice to see Canadians stepping up to the plate and helping out.
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