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Collingwood graduate hopes to help address homelessness

People of Collingwood: Henry Currie, outgoing president of the Interact Club of Collingwood
Henry Currie, 18, is the outgoing president of the Interact Club of Collingwood.

When Henry Currie looks back at his time as president of the Interact Club of Collingwood, he feels proud of the work the group did over the past year.

For this week’s edition of People of Collingwood we spoke with Currie, 18, outgoing president of the Interact Club of Collingwood.

Q: Where did you grow up?

A: I was born and raised in Collingwood.

I went to elementary school at Mountain View Elementary School, and high school at Collingwood Collegiate Institute.

Q: Do you participate in any extracurriculars that you’d like to talk about?

A: My biggest one is with the youth Rotary Club (Interact Club of Collingwood). I’ve been part of that group for four years now. This year, I was elected president.

This year we did a bunch of different fundraisers and community projects to raise money for different charities.

We did three big fundraisers. In the fall, we did a “Not a Carwash” where we cleaned the inside of people’s cars. That raised money for international refugee relief. In the winter, we made environmentally-friendly holiday bows to raise money for Water First, a Creemore-based organization that helps Indigenous communities. In February, we participated in the Coldest Night of the Year walk here to raise funds for Home Horizon.

In June, we did our final project of the year which was a music festival featuring local artists and performers to raise money for the Busby Centre – South Georgian Bay.

Q: What made you want to get involved in the Interact Club in the first place?

A: I don’t actually have any connections to Rotary. One of my friends convinced me to join back in elementary school.

I was excited to have a way to make an impact on the community at such a young age. That was really important to me. It’s nice to be able to give back.

Q: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment this year as president?

A: The last fundraiser we did – the music festival – was our biggest accomplishment. It was the most amount of work, but it was the most rewarding. We were lucky enough to be able to raise $2,000 for the Busby Centre. It felt the most like a community event.

Q: You were recently awarded the Paul Harris Fellow recognition. How did you feel when you heard?

A: I was really surprised to receive the award. I definitely wasn’t expecting it. I knew I had done a lot of work this year but it wasn’t something I imagined I would be receiving. I was very grateful.

Q: Do you have any other hobbies outside of volunteering?

A: I’m usually pretty busy with school, volunteering and work at the Collingwood library. In my free time, I really like to read. I’ve been able to get back into that this summer.

I like to do a little bit of creative writing, like short stories and poems.

Honestly, now that it’s summer I really like doing anything outside.

Q: Now that you’ve graduated from CCI, what are your plans?

A: In the fall, I’ll be attending the University of Waterloo. I’m studying international development and am hoping to take a minor in urban planning. It will help me to analyze systemic issues and work toward developing solutions and putting systems in place.

I’m taking (these programs) to continue my work with housing and homelessness.

Q: What do you want to do after school?

A: In a perfect world, I would start my own non-profit, like a shelter. I’d like to work hands-on with the people who are most impacted.

If that is too ambitious, I’d love to continue my work with Rotary as well, or work in a government position related to housing.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like people in Collingwood to know about you?

A: I’m so grateful for everyone in this community. I want to encourage people to continue to look out for one another. Stay involved.

For our feature People of Collingwood, we speak with interesting people who are either from or are contributing to the Collingwood community in some way, letting them tell their own stories in their own words. This feature runs on CollingwoodToday every weekend. If you’d like to nominate or suggest someone to be featured in People of Collingwood, email [email protected].

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen is an experienced journalist working for Village Media since 2018, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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